Ellen DeGeneres used her platform on Thursday to shine a light on the Southern California mudslides that occurred earlier this week and have now reportedly killed 17 people (and at least are 48 missing).
Becoming emotional during her show, the 59-year-old talk show host discussed the Montecito neighborhood in Santa Barbara County where she and Oprah are neighbors, and how it’s affected her personal life. She and wife Portia de Rossi evacuated from their home.
“This room is always so full of positivity and love and today I really need it. So many times over the past 15 years people have come up to me and say to me that when they’re going through a tough time this show helps them through it,” she told her audience. “Today, I need you because there’s a lot going on in my life right now.”
DeGeneres moved on to describe how difficult it’s been to face the natural disaster, especially after California’s deadly wildfires, and just how bad the situation is.
“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 said.
In a different video, she FaceTimed with Oprah, who is her neighbor and whose backyard has become devastated in the wake of the mudslides.
“It’s devastating. 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 and the rain came. Who would’ve expected we have this devastation again with the mudslides, and so soon,” Oprah shared, later introducing local firefighters on the hunt for missing people.
She ended on a note of hope.
“But we’re going to do what we do. We’re going to come together and we’re going to do what great Americans do all the time,” Oprah said. “We’re going to help each other. We’re going to help each other out wherever needed.”