Woman Buried Alive In Mudslide Rescued After Calling For Help

In flood-ravaged California, firefighters combed through a mountain of rubble to find 76-year-old Susan Gordon trapped up to her neck in mud.

"Help me! Can you help me?" she yelled. Rosalee Bolger saw the rescue.

"They were doing all that they can. There was a lot of debris around her," Bolger said.

Gordon suffered minor injuries after a hillside crumbled Thursday, lifting the home she was in off its foundation and sending it hurtling down the hill 22 metres, reports CBS News' Mola Lenghi.

Gordon's home hurtled more than 20-metres down the hill. Photo: CBS.

"We're waiting to see if that hillside is structurally sound and to find out when we can go back," Bolger said.

Torrential rain and heavy winds battered the state. Officials are keeping a close eye on a levee that has breached in a rural part of Northern California.

In Southern California, the same system also brought down large trees and left water-logged hillsides at risk. After more than two days of rain, one small cliff gave way along with part of a home.

Susan Gordon is lucky to be alive. Photo: CBS.

In some mountain communities, transportation officials urged residents to shelter in place after large chunks of roads washed away. Desert areas were affected, and rising floodwaters also left drivers trapped and forced several rescues.

"It's not just the water but the debris and rocks and trees that can cause a lot of damage," stranded driver Steven Buonaugurio said.

The storm is also creating chaos in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where nearly 1,000 lightning strikes were recorded Thursday, and more than six and a half feet of snow is expected to fall this weekend. In the Bay area, the rain will continue until early next week.