The eyes of the world are on the victims of the Montecito mudslides, and on Thursday, celebrity residents Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres shared their own stories about the devastation.
In an emotional statement posted to her Twitter account Thursday morning, DeGeneres thanked her fans and supporters. DeGeneres also spent a segment of her NBC daytime TV show (airing at 3 p.m. Pacific time) talking about how the mudslides have affected the community.
At one point, DeGeneres FaceTimed with friend and former daytime talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, who gave a tour of damage at and near her home.
“This room is always so full of positivity and love, and today I really need it,” DeGeneres said on the TV show, later adding, “You hear the word mudslide and you have no idea the impact that it has, but after the largest fire in California history, it’s catastrophic. It is beyond recognizable.”
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She said gratitude for finally receiving rain was replaced with terror at the result.
“Sunday night, (DeGeneres’ spouse) Portia (de Rossi) and I got a call that we’re under mandatory evacuations again, so again we evacuated because they feared mudslides,” she said.
And DeGeneres praised the work being of emergency responders.
“Once again, the bravery and dedication of these firefighters are amazing, they’re just working tirelessly on our behalf so I am forever grateful to all of you,” she said.
Earlier this week, Winfrey posted a video on Instagram in her yard, where she showed just how much damage the storm’s aftermath had done to her home and the homes of her neighbors.
“There used to be a fence right here to my neighbor’s house. Devastated,” she said.
Winfrey said that while her property emerged from the storm mostly intact, many of her neighbors lost everything.
Montecito, a wealthy enclave south of Santa Barbara, is home to several prominent residents; actor Rob Lowe recently made headlines when he cooked dinner for the firefighters who saved his Montecito residence. Tennis star Jimmy Connors tweeted that he had to be evacuated by helicopter.