Mudslides ravaged roads and threatened the homes of countless residents in Southern California this week, including celebrities.
Tennis legend Jimmy Connors wrote on Twitter that he was evacuated by helicopter on Tuesday from his home in Montecito, an affluent community in Santa Barbara County.
Connors tweeted, “Montecito — fires burn- rain comes- mud slides and devastation- evacuated today by helicopter- thoughts and prayers for all!!!”
At least 15 people were killed and more than two dozen others were injured in weather-related incidents as torrential rains unleashed flash flooding, debris flow and mudslides in the southern part of the state, Santa Barbara County officials said Wednesday. Many of the communities impacted are still reeling from the devastation caused by the deadly wildfires last month.
Television mogul Oprah Winfrey, who owns a property in Montecito, wrote on Instagram that she woke up to a “blazing gas fire” in her neighborhood and shared images of her backyard buried in mud.
“What a day! Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara. Woke up to this blazing gas fire,” Winfrey said in an Instagram post Tuesday. “Helicopters rescuing my neighbors. Looking for missing persons. 13 lives lost.”
Actor Rob Lowe, who also has a home in Montecito, wrote on Twitter Tuesday night that he was “preparing for whatever may come.”
“Mourning the dead in our little town tonight. Praying for the survivors and preparing for whatever may come,” Lowe tweeted.
Lowe referred to Winfrey’s home in an earlier tweet, saying, “Media talking about @OPRAH ‘maybe’ running for President in 3 years. Meanwhile, AS WE SPEAK, her Montecito home’s a staging ground for helicopter rescues. Priorities? Anyone?”
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman shared an image on Instagram of what appeared to be a damaged home and vehicle on Tuesday.
“Montecito has been a special place for me and my family for many years but it’s a place that’s been hit hard in recent weeks,” Aikman wrote in his post. “My prayers are with all of those impacted by the latest mudslides.”
Supermodels Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid shared aerial images on social media of their hometown submerged in water.
“My beautiful hometown of Montecito…. Where my roots were placed, where my mother raised me and my family. Completely under water. I really can’t believe it,” Bella Hadid wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday. “I am praying and thinking so much for our friends in the hospital and their families that are still missing.”
“My beautiful home town, just after getting through weeks of wild fire, has been hit by a major storm. That ‘river’ is the 101 freeway. Please keep the families of Santa Barbara in your thoughts and prayers,” Gigi Hadid wrote in her Twitter post Tuesday.
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres urged people to show their “love and support” for the victims.