Ellen DeGeneres FaceTimes With Oprah Winfrey and Gets Emotional Discussing Montecito Disaster

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

A number of homes have been destroyed and first responders have rescued at least 50 people.

"I know that my dog and Stella here, we're going to go up and we can do it effectively can do it quickly and if we're in the right place at the right time we can effect a rescue", said Brainard. "I thought I was dead there for a minute", Lauren Cantin said after workers spent six hours digging her out.

Ellen DeGeneres fought back her tears as she described being forced to evacuate her family home because of "massive" mudslides.

DeGeneres then thanked the firefighters for all they're doing in the area and for "working tirelessly on our behalf". "I live there, Oprah lives there", she added, bravely holding it together.

DeGeneres explained that on January 7, she was told there was a mandatory evacuation in her neighborhood following heavy rains.

The mudslide swept through the coastal community of Montecito on Tuesday morning, catching numerous victims entirely off-guard. "It's filled with a lot of different types of people form all backgrounds and there are families missing".

Heavy rains triggered the mudslides in an area ravaged a month before by wildfires.

Mr Brown also named the five people still missing, which included Fabiola Benitez, the mother of Jonathan Benitez, a 10-year-old killed in the flooding. They're finding people and bodies and I mean, 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. "(Montecito) is beyond recognizable".

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Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Joseph Bleckel had been on the missing list before they found him.

"Coming back, it's nearly surreal to see the devastation, the mud flow, the debris", McTigue said in a phone interview hours after he arrived.

"It just went around the house like a teardrop, it was shaped like an eye", O'Dea said.

The slide also caused a "significant" gas leak, and fix efforts left homes on the street with no gas, electricity or water. "We basically just had to get out and leave the gates open for the fire trucks and we're right in it ... we're right there".

Actor Rob Lowe, who has a property in Montecito, took to Twitter to pay his respects. "Praying for the survivors and preparing for whatever may come". Her company confirms her death in a statement posted Wednesday night on Facebook.

"I really can't believe it", she captioned the picture.

It's unclear how many remain missing, while dozens of residents have been injured, according to officials. The stretch of the 101 between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara was reopened midday Thursday.

My handsome home town, just after getting through weeks of wild fire, has been hit by a major storm.

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