Oprah shows deep mud in her garden, rescue helicopters overhead


As the names of the 17 California mudslide victims were released Thursday (local time), crews kept digging through the muck and rubble looking for more people.

When Winfrey called into DeGeneres' show, she described a tragic scene from her back yard.

"We have a yard to redo and hopefully our insurance will help out with that, but the people across from me, newer homes, gone", Garrett Speirs, a 54-year-old artist who has been living in Montecito for 20 years, said.

The drenching rains that unleashed the deadly torrents managed to finally contain the largest wildfire in state history, which burned for weeks above Montecito and stripped the steep hills of vegetation, making it prone to mudslides.

The mudslide swept through the coastal community of Montecito on Tuesday morning, catching numerous victims entirely off-guard.

DeGeneres explained that on January 7, she was told there was a mandatory evacuation in her neighborhood following heavy rains.

Brown said a 19th victim had been found and named her as Morgan Corey, 25. It took houses off their foundation. "It sounded like the scariest monster you ever heard, banging on your door". Southern California has seen slides occur with as little as 7 millimeters of rainfall. "We're affected here in Carpinteria in the sense that we're taking these people in and a lot of people are out of work because they can't travel". Meanwhile, AS WE SPEAK, her Montecito home's a staging ground for helicopter rescues.

"I am blessed and I am going to do whatever I can for the rest of the community", Winfrey said, "and we all just love the firefighters".

In a statement, Van Hecke said Rohter and his wife were swept away from their home in Montecito. "I live there, Oprah lives there", she added, bravely holding it together.

"After everything we have been through, I think a lot of people thought they were just being overly cautious, but exactly what they feared happened". At least five people are still missing. Amber Anderson, a spokeswoman for the recovery effort, says their top priority is reaching those people, getting them to safety and finding the people who are still missing. "It is beyond recognizable".

DeGeneres tweeted the video of her remarks on Thursday.

Her husband did much for Catholic causes, Van Hecke said. "It's as devastating as can be". She saw that the "sky seemed like it was on fire".

"We've lost so many lives, and it's a tiny community, and nobody would've expected - certainly, I did not - that after we survived the fire, the rain would come".

"That's always our mentality: 'Hey, we're going to find someone alive, '" Deputy Dan Page, chief of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, told the AP.