A California family is desperately searching for two sisters who were last seen on Tuesday as a mudslide swept away their family’s Southern California home.
Sawyer Corey, 12, and Morgan Corey, 25, were asleep in their Montecito home when the mud rolled through the area, sweeping away the home and the family members inside. Sawyer’s twin sister, Summer, and their mother Carie Baker have been found and are recovering at a local hospital, Baker’s nephew, Logan Kessler, tells PEOPLE.
“It doesn’t even seem real. It’s been a blur,” Kessler tells PEOPLE of the tragedy. “[I felt] scared, helpless and pain for those girls. I couldn’t sleep last night, knowing they were still alone.”
Kessler, who lives in Los Angeles, says everyone was likely asleep when the mudslide hit. He says that Baker was found later that day about a mile away from the home. It is unclear where Summer was found.
Kessler tells PEOPLE that he has been unable to get to Montecito to help with the search efforts because the roads are closed.
Family and friends have enlisted the help of the public to find Sawyer and Corey, posting photos of the pair in social media updates.
“My heart hurts,” Lisa Carrillo wrote in a Facebook post. “Carie Baker is in intensive care – at cottage hospital-please pass on until they have been found🙏🏻🙏🏻 Their house was in the flood zone!”
More than a dozen people were killed Tuesday when heavy rains caused flash floods and debris-filled mudslides to slam into homes in the Santa Barbara neighborhood. Authorities confirmed on Tuesday that 13 bodies had been recovered from the area.
“The only words I can really think of to describe what it looked [like] was it looked like a World War I battlefield,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said of the area, which is known for its beautiful homes and celebrity residents. “It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere.”
At least 25 people were injured on Tuesday, with rescue crews taking at least 50 people to safety by air and dozens more from the ground.
The tragedy comes just one month after a series of fast-spreading wildfires wreaked havoc on the region.