Oprah Winfrey Shares Devastating Video of How California Mudslides Affected Her Neighborhood


Southern California authorities say the number of people missing since debris-laden flash floods smashed through the community of Montecito is now five, down from as many as 43 a day earlier.

Asher's return to the scene, where murky water was knee-deep, turned up at least one gem: his wife's engagement ring, the only keepsake she wanted him to find. "He said so many times that after his passing, 'Make sure everyone prays for my soul.' We will, Roy!"

A 14-year-old girl was trapped for hours in mud-soaked rubble on Hot Springs Road and then pulled to safety in a triumphant moment. The firm dubbed her, "The First Lady of Luxury Real Estate".

The rate of rainfall in Southern California Tuesday was 18 times more than required to produce debris flow, according to an analysis by ABC News meteorologists. Their home was destroyed Tuesday in a mudslide.

Since Tuesday, hundreds of emergency workers, friends and family, have been trudging through mud looking for people amidst the destruction.

Her son-in-law confirmed Wednesday that her body was found near Highway 101 by first responders.

She described her friend as warm and loving and as never speaking negatively about anyone.

Riskin Partners spokeswoman Erin Lammers said Riskin was a member of the American Ballet Theater in NY before an injury cut short her dancing career. She moved to Montecito in the early 1990s. Survived by her husband, two grown children and a grandson.

"Sunday night, Portia (de Rossi) and I got a call that we're under mandatory evacuation again, with most of the community of Montecito. You just don't even think that this is possible".

Residents lucky enough to be spared reported hearing rumblings just before the onslaught that sounded like an natural disaster but were actually the sound of a deadly, roaring curtain of mud and debris descending upon them powerful enough to propel massive boulders the size of trucks along with it. "Massive." The "Finding Dory" actress went on to add that she considers the area her "home", and become emotional as she spoke about the devastation. A missing 12-year-old, Sawyer Corey, has also been found and pronounced dead.

"Thank you to all the search and rescue teams, firefighters, and everyone helping".

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Thursday that officials were expanding mandatory evacuation zones in the area because pedestrians and traffic are hindering rescue and fix operations.

"You don't know the power of a mudslide", Degeneres said.

"It goes without saying how incredibly devastating this time is for their loved ones", Brown said.

Among those impacted by the disaster was chat show host Ellen DeGeneres, who said everyone in the 9,000 strong "tight-knit" community had been affected.

After the Thomas Fire, the largest in state history, burned through the Santa Barbara area last month, fire crews anticipated that conditions would be ripe for massive mud and debris slides once rains came later in the season. The rains began just after she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes and gave a speech that had many on social media suggesting she should run for president in 2020.

Melley contributed from Los Angeles.