Ellen DeGeneres Videos Flood Waters Near Her Home as the Residents of Montecito Are Ordered to Evacuate
Ellen DeGeneres is giving people a look at just how dangerous the recent heavy rains have made the area of Montecito, where she and other stars like Oprah and Prince Harry live.
In a clip posted on Twitter, the former talk show host, 64, can be seen standing on a bank, showing off the raging water behind her. DeGeneres said the creek is located right by her house and "never flows," but the heavy rains from a recent storm have changed that.
"It's probably about 9ft up, and it could go another 2ft up," she said in the video, moving the camera to display just how powerful the water was. "We have horses ready to evacuate."
Montecito is under mandatory evacuation. We are on higher ground so they asked us to shelter in place. Please stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/7dv5wfNSzG
— Ellen DeGeneres (@EllenDeGeneres) January 9, 2023
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On Monday, the area was hit with the latest round of severe storms moving throughout the state, with the National Weather Service reporting at least 8 inches of rain falling over the area over the course of 12 hours, per NBC News.
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The heavy rains and flooding prompted the Montecito fire department to issue an evacuation order for all Montecito residents and residents of Sycamore Canyon in Santa Barbara on Monday.
In the nearby county of San Luis Obispo, residents were also told to evacuate with numerous areas experiencing extreme flooding. At least one driver was killed while a mother and her 5-year-old were washed away in flood waters. Bystanders were able to rescue to the woman but the search for the boy had to be called off as conditions worsened.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom also declared a state of emergency one day earlier, noting that 12 residents have already died from flooding and other storm-related impacts over the past few weeks.
The impacts from the heavy rains are reminiscent of a similar storm that hit Montecito in January, 2018 and killed 23 people – something DeGeneres touched on in her video.
"This is the 5 year anniversary from the fire and mudslides that killed so many people and people lost their homes, their lives," DeGeneres said. "This is crazy. On the five year anniversary, we're having unprecedented rain."
"We need to be nicer to mother nature cause mother nature is not happy with us," she added. "Let's all do our part. Stay safe everybody."
Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee via ZUMA Press Wire
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Following the 2018 storm, DeGeneres got emotional on her show discussing the deadly destruction to Montecito following mudslides caused by the heavy rains and her and her wife Portia de Rossi's evacuation from their home.
"It's not just a wealthy community, it's filled with a lot of different types of people from all backgrounds. And there are families missing, there are people who are missing family members," DeGeneres said, sharing a photo of the street in front of her house that was filled with mud-covered debris.
"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. It is beyond recognizable," she added.
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Oprah, who also lives in Montecito, Facetimed the host sharing that she thought the damage was "devastating."
"But we're going to do what we do," Oprah said. "We're going to come together and we're going to do what great Americans do all the time. We're going to help each other. We're going to help each other out wherever needed."