CAMARILLO (CBSLA.com) — Heavy rains and mud caused at least 18 homes to be red tagged in Ventura County.
Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted Friday afternoon for residents in the Camarillo Springs burn area in Ventura County.
A mandatory order was issued at 2:30 a.m. for residents on San Como Lane where a mud and debris flow enveloped several homes, the Office of Emergency Services said.
"At about 2:15 this morning, we had a lot of rocks come down into the area and impacted the area fairly significantly," VC Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery said.
The red tagged homes were located in Camarillo Springs -- some of the homes were beset by rocks, mud and debris piled 10 feet high, fire officials said.
"When the door slammed shut I knew there was two feet of mud behind me, and soon the front window blew out, so when the window blew out I knew we had a complete flood of mud and water through the house," resident Bill Golubics, who stayed at his home overnight, said.
Firefighters, who rescued three people from one home, went door-to-door in the early morning hours to encourage residents who ignored evacuation orders to leave.
Emergency personnel eased evacuations to a voluntary status for some areas of the neighborhood around 11 a.m., however, "residents are strongly advised to remain out of the area until the voluntary evacuation order is lifted and the threat has subsided."
Much of the debris came down from areas affected by the May 2013 Camarillo Springs Fire where little vegetation remained to prevent slides.
"Well, we were expecting, planning for the worst and hoping for the best, and we got closer to the worst right now," said homeowner Phil Eads.
An evacuation shelter was set up at the Leisure Village Recreation Building, 1200 Leisure Village Drive in Camarillo.
No injuries were reported, officials said.
Rachel Kim reported for KCAL9 News Friday from along San Como lane where ten homes were red tagged.
Mud there reached as high as the roof in some places.
"We dodged a bullet and somebody was looking out for us," said Ted Elliott.
Elliott and his wife evacuated their home Thursday night and returned Friday morning, expecting the worst.
"It's amazing. Our neighbor next door was red tagged, they got mud in their house, they got rocks up against the house and our yard is like it was when we left."
He added, "What can I say, we're lucky, lucky, lucky."
The City Council has approved funding for a project Wednesday to build barricades to control mud flows in the area.
Officials explained the permanent fix was planned for Monday, however, now officials are working to make repairs to the hill side to prevent another debris flow.
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