Ellen DeGeneres FaceTimes With Oprah Winfrey About Montecito Mudslides, Fights Back Tears

A member of the Long Beach Search and Rescue team looks for survivors in a car in Montecito

Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres also share a fence line there. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who has been touted this week as a possible 2020 candidate for the White House, was among those affected by the mudslides.

"This room is always so full of positivity and love and today I really need it", an emotional DeGeneres told the studio.

"I said, 'We gotta get out of here.' As I turned the auto around and I looked in my rear-view mirror, I saw huge boulders the size of my vehicle rolling on the street behind me, and I went, 'Mother of God, this is like Independence Day, ' so I took off back down to the house", he said.

The Thomas fire was the largest wildfire in recorded California history.

The mudslide swept through the coastal community of Montecito on Tuesday morning (local time), catching numerous victims entirely off-guard. "Again we evacuated because they feared mudslides". It doesn't take much rain to trigger this.

Winfrey wasn't under a mandatory evacuation order because her house is higher up on a hill, but she has been using social media to show just how bad the scenes were in Montecito this week.

"They were in a voluntary evacuation area so they figured they were OK", said Weimer, who has been frantically searching for her parents for more than a day. "You hear the word mudslides and you have no idea the impact that it has". Southern California has seen slides occur with as little as 7 millimeters of rainfall.

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Officials ordered residents in most of the southeastern corner of Montecito, which is east of Santa Barbara, to leave their homes for what was likely to be one or two weeks. People are trying to locate missing people.

O'Dea said his house was turned into a staging ground for the Ventura County Search and Rescue. DeGeneres broadcast the FaceTime call on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" where she described the experiences of the "tight-knit" community where 17 people have died and as of late Thursday eight people were still unaccounted for. "I thought I was dead there for a minute", Lauren Cantin said after workers spent six hours digging her out. Even Oprah was caught up in the mess, posting videos on her Instagram account.

"The partner of one of the people killed in the California mudslides says the victim had just enough time to shout, "'grab onto some wood and don't let go.'" before he was swept to his death.

Though they were unclear of the exact number of fatalities at the time, it has been confirmed that 17 people have perished as a result of the mudslides. "It is beyond recognizable".

Winfrey posted videos on Instagram showing her wading through almost knee-deep mud on her property and later inspecting the damage.

"I was walking down here and all of my neighbors' homes are gutted".

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