Ellen Degeneres was forced to flee her home in the wake of the Californian mudslides
The 59-year-old talk show host has revealed she and her wife Portia De Rossi had to leave their $40 million Montecito estate earlier this week after catastrophic mudslides ripped through the area, claiming the lives of 17 people, leaving a further 17 still missing and destroying hundreds of homes
14 January 2018
Luckily for Ellen, her home managed to escape unscathed by the destruction, which was caused when heavy rain battered the ground which had been stripped of all vegetation after the Thomas wildfire.
© 2018 Bang Showbiz, NZCity
Speaking on her talk show, ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’, the comedian said: “Usually, we're grateful for rain, especially in California, but not after the largest fire in the history of California.
“So again, we evacuated because they feared mudslides. After everything we've been through, I think a lot of people thought they were just being overly cautious but exactly what they feared happened.
“The rain triggered massive mudslides. 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.
She said: “If you've never been there, Montecito is a small town. It’s less than 10,000 people, it has two public schools, family-owned businesses. It's a tight-knit community so everyone kind of knows everyone. I work in LA, but I consider Montecito my home.
“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 recognisable.”
It comes just weeks after Ellen and Portia were also forced to flee their $18.6 million beachfront Santa Barbara house because of the threat caused by the Thomas wildfire.
And the couple have not yet been able to return to their property to see if anything has been damaged.
Ellen said in December: "Our house … it's there right now, but no one can get in to check on it. We basically just had to get out and leave the gates open for the fire trucks and we're right in it … we're right there."