Massive Mudslides Destroy Restaurant and Damage Homes in Southern California: Looked Like 'Lava'

Tropical Storm Kay caused heavy rain and strong winds to hit part of the state over the weekend

Mudslides and debris flow affected parts of Southern California after a tropical storm led to heavy rain and strong winds over the weekend.

According to the Associated Press, rains caused by Tropical Storm Kay led to massive mudslides on Tuesday, which washed away cars and damaged homes and buildings in San Bernadino County. One building, the outlet reported, was buried so high with mud that its roof caved in.

A video posted to Twitter from resident Roger Seheult showed a large amount of mud covering the roads and parking lot outside of Oak Glen Steakhouse Saloon. "I was pretty scared," Seheult wrote.

"I was going down to potato Canyon to pick up my kids from school and in front of me was something that looks like a lava flow so I got out to take a closer look and I realized it was mud," he said in a follow up post. "And then this happened."

The restaurant started a GoFundMe campaign to help employees affected by the mudslides, which has raised nearly $10,000 as of Wednesday afternoon.

"Thankfully nobody was hurt," the organizer wrote, before noting that the mudslides "obliterated 70% of our steakhouse/dining room and kitchen" and also destroyed their equipment. "It's all ruined," they wrote.

Per the AP, search teams looked through the streets for people in need of help after the mudslides.

"We have boulders that moved through that weigh multiple tons," Eric Sherwin of the San Bernardino County Fire Department told the news agency. "It could take days just to find all the cars that are missing because they are completely covered by mud."

Crews did not find anyone in need of rescue and no one was reported missing, reported USA Today.

The mudslides happened at the same time emergency personnel are battling the Mosquito Fire in Northern California, about 110 miles north of San Francisco.

"We have all hands on deck," a fire department spokesperson told the AP. "It's burning very erratic and intensely."

oak glen mudslide
Will Lester/MediaNews Group/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty

According to USA Today, the mudslides and flash floods happened in areas of San Bernardino that have "burn scars," sections that have minimal amounts of vegetation to hold soil after wildfires occurred in the area two years ago.

"All of that dirt turns to mud and starts slipping down the mountain," Sherwin said, per the outlet.

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