Brian O’Dea Opens Up On Escaping ‘Apocalyptic’ California Mudslides

This photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department shows damage from a mudflow in the chapel at La Casa de Maria, a nondenominational retreat, in Montecito on Jan. 11, 2018.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A prominent Newfoundlander says he made a harrowing escape from the California mudslides that killed at least 17 people and wiped out homes and roads.

“I have been through some experiences in my life, this is right up there with them, I gotta tell you. It was so incredibly harrowing,” said Brian O’Dea, author of “High: Confessions of an International Drug Smuggler.”

O’Dea’s Montecito house outside Santa Barbara was in the path of a pre-dawn flash flood Tuesday that was touched off by heavy rain.

As the rainwater made its way downhill with gathering force, it pried boulders from the ground and picked up trees and other debris that flattened homes, cars and carried at least one body a mile away.

“These mudslides, they call them flash floods for an absolutely good reason. They are instant, they are a six-foot wall of mud moving 40 miles an hour, it moves whatever it wants. It simply does. And it comes right through your house,” O’Dea told VOCM Radio in St. John’s, N.L.

O’Dea, originally from the Newfoundland capital, was jailed as a young man for drug smuggling, but is now an author, film and television producer. He was also quoted in 2016 as saying he had a branding company connected to the legal marijuana business.

Although O’Dea’s house was spared, his celebrity neighbours Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bridges had their own brushes with disaster.

O’Dea said he was at home with his family when his son pointed out a nearby fire lighting up the sky. He said he went to investigate what turned out to be an explosion at a natural gas line, and came face to face with the mudslide.

“I said, ‘We gotta get out of here.’ As I turned the car around and I looked in my rear-view mirror, I saw huge boulders the size of my car rolling on the street behind me, and I went, ‘Mother of God, this is like Independence Day,’ so I took off back down to the house,” he said.

It was like somebody had brought a chainsaw and started chopping down trees.Brian O’Dea

“By the time I got to my house 30 seconds later there was a river of mud all over everything. I mean, it was apocalyptic. And I’m trying to weave the car in, you know, two feet of mud to get back in the driveway and down the street. It was like somebody had …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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