Watch: Oprah gives Ellen horror mudslide update from their homes: 'Everything wasn't fine'

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Associated Press

Oprah Winfrey has been talking about her experience of the catastrophic mudslides around her home in Montecito, California, and said the community is staying close.

Oprah Winfrey has given a live cross from the catastrophic mudslides around her, and Ellen's, homes in Montecito, California,
Source: Associated Press

"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," the broadcaster told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show today.

DeGeneres is also a resident of the town, which was hit by the worst fires in California history at the end of last year.

DeGeneres became emotional when talking about the community in which she lives with wife Portia De Rossi.

"I work in LA, but I consider Montecito my home. I live there, Oprah lives there," DeGeneres said.

"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.

"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."

On a Facetime call from outside her home, Winfrey described the scene as she waded through a sea of mud.

"All of my neighbors' homes are, like, gutted," said the media mogul.

"The neighbors out back - their houses are gone, just gone."

Search-and-rescue teams from all over California are working their way through the muck and wreckage of the town, a wealthy enclave of 9,000 people northwest of Los Angeles that is home to a number of celebrities.

California authorities say 100 single-family homes were destroyed in the flash-floods that struck Montecito and adjacent areas of Santa Barbara County.

The death toll from Tuesday's pre-dawn flash flood rose to 17 on Thursday as more bodies were found.

Another 17 were still reported missing.

By Wednesday, some 500 searchers had covered about 75 percent of the inundated area, authorities said.

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