Oprah's California Mansion at Center of Rescue Effort After Devastating Mudslides Strike the Area
Days after her rousing Golden Globes speech spawned presidential chatter, Oprah is once again in the news, this time as she surveys the damage in her Montecito, Calif. neighborhood that has been plagued by overwhelming mudslides.
Oprah’s 65-acre estate narrowly escaped destruction, but the same could not be said for her neighbor's house has been "devastated," according to the media mogul.
She documented much of the devastation on Instagram as she trudged through knee-deep mud.
Tennis icon Jimmy Connors said he was evacuated by helicopter.
Just behind Oprah's home, she watched the eerie glow as a multi-million dollar mansion was destroyed by a fire that was sparked by ruptured gas lines.
Many celebrities are among the 9,000 citizens that live in the city and have taken to social media in pleas for help.
Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: “Montecito needs your love and support.” In another tweet, she posted an image of what the mud's devastation looks like.
Supermodel Bella Hadid posted a photo with the caption: “My beautiful home town. My heart is completely broken.”
Her sister, Gigi, added, “Please keep the families in your thoughts.”
The desperate, heartbreaking search for victims continued on Wednesday.
“My friend's daughters are missing please help find them," read one plea. "A mudslide devoured their home at 3 a.m."
“Trying to locate my mother-in-law missing in Montecito,” was another.
Another resident told Inside Edition: “A good friend of mine lost his father-in-law. I still have two friends missing. It’s devastating,” one resident told Inside Edition.
Extraordinary video shows 14-year-old Lauren Cantin moments after she was pulled from the mud. She was trapped in the ruins of her home for six hours. Her father and brother are still missing.
Dramatic new video of the mudslides shows a car speeding down a narrow road, trying to flee from a fast-moving river of mud and debris.
Many people ignored warnings to evacuate, never expecting the mudslides would cause so much havoc.
“I thought, 'I can’t evacuate,'" one resident told Inside Edition. "I really didn’t think it could be this bad."
Hillsides that were stripped of vegetation by recent fires simply collapsed in the torrential rain.