The deadly mudslides that struck Southern California early Tuesday left the celebrities who live there reeling – and asking for prayers for others in their community.
Rescue crews continued searching for survivors Wednesday after Tuesday’s deadly mudslides claimed at least 15 lives. Torrential rains unleashed flash floods in the Santa Ynez Mountains, where the biggest wildfire on record in California stripped vegetation from steep hillsides and burned more than 1,000 homes last month.
Most of the mudslide deaths took place in Montecito, a wealthy enclave of 9,000 people home to numerous celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Rob Lowe.
Winfrey posted video of herself wading through mud in her backyard to Instagram on Tuesday, although her home survived. “Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara,” she wrote.
She posted another video to Instagram on Wednesday showing damage to her home’s back yard. “Thanks everyone for your prayers and concern. My property is fine. Some mud, and minor damage that pales in comparison to what my neighbors are going thru,” Winfrey wrote.
Lowe also posted prayers for mudslide survivors on Twitter after earlier chastising the media for focusing on Winfrey’s presidential prospects in 2020 even as residents and rescuers searched for survivors in her neighborhood.
“This is not a river. This is the 101 freeway in my neighborhood right now. Montecito needs your love and support,” DeGeneres wrote on Twitter with a photo of the flooded, mud-filled freeway.
DeGeneres also wrote on Twitter, “I’ve love being part of the Montecito community. I send love to all the families and the amazing rescue workers braving these mudslides.”
Tennis star Jimmy Connors posted to Twitter that he was evacuated Tuesday by helicopter from his Montecito home.
Models and former Montecito residents Bella and Gigi Hadid also posted to social media about the mudslides.
Former NFL football star Troy Aikman wrote, “Montecito has been a special place for me and my family for many years but it’s a place that’s been hit hard in recent weeks,” on Instagram with a photo of the devastation.