SoCal in crisis. Ellen DeGeneres has offered an update about her property and the intense weather situation amid unprecedented rainfall in the greater Los Angeles and Santa Barbara County areas. The affluent community of Montecito – where Ellen lives alongside the likes of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Rob Lowe and more Hollywood A-listers – is under mandatory evacuation as of Monday, January 9. The former talk show host took to social media with a stark report of the conditions.
“This creek next to our house never flows. It’s probably about nine feet up,” Ellen said on-camera as she panned to the now-rushing river of water. “Montecito is under complete evacuation, the entire town.”
The Finding Dory talent – wearing a hooded rain jacket over a sweatshirt in the video – further reflected on the area’s history with natural disasters, noting that it is the “five-year anniversary from the fire and mudslides that killed so many people.”
On January 9, 2018, mudslides ravaged the Montecito area after a particularly intense fire season the previous summer. The destruction killed 23 people, injured dozens and caused thousands of dollars' worth of damage. To make matters worse, the 101 freeway – which is the only highway leading in and out of Santa Barbara County – was buried in multiple feet of mud, trapping the city’s residents in a state of weather-related purgatory.
“This is crazy – on the five-year anniversary, we’re having unprecedented rain,” Ellen continued in her 2023 update. “We need to be nicer to mother nature. … Stay safe everybody,” she concluded.
At about 3:20 p.m. EST on January 9, the Montecito Fire Department took to Twitter with a stark warning. “LEAVE NOW!” the post read, listing the entire communities in the sleepy Southern Californian town that needed to get out while they still could. The tweet was filled with supportive comments from neighbors, with some even noting the high profile celebrities that call the area home.
Not only are the properties in Montecito home to some of the most known names in entertainment, but the vast size of the estates could equal thousands of dollars' worth of damage amid such unparalleled rainfall. Rob Lowe’s Montecito mansion, for example, sits on 6.7 acres of land and set him back about $13 million. Ariana Grande lives in the area in a $6.7 million mansion after having purchased a home once belonging to Ellen herself, and Harry and Meghan’s California abode is worth approximately $14.7 million.
As for Ellen, she and wife Portia de Rossi purchased their third house in Montecito in September 2022 before flipping it to make a profit – they sold it to none other than famed music manager Scooter Braun. The famous pair continue to live in their $14 million ranch in the area.