Rescuers resume work as 17 confirmed dead in California mudslides

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In addition to FaceTiming with Winfrey, DeGeneres opened up about how the natural disaster has impacted her personally.

In one of the worst-hit areas of Montecito, mud blew through doors and windows, filling the interiors of houses with sludge and debris. "We will push for every available resource to help Californians recover from these tragedies", Brown said in a statement Thursday. "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". And I'm trying to weave the vehicle in, you know, two feet of mud to get back in the driveway and down the street. And it made me so proud to live there. "I just love this place".

Short term, making the public ready to evacuate during heavy rains is key, he said. After everything we've been through, I think a lot of people thought they were just being overly cautious.

The mudslides were caused when heavy rain dumped half an inch of water on Montecito in five minutes, while nearby Carpinteria received almost an inch in 15 minutes.

DeGeneres then thanked the firefighters for all they're doing in the area and for "working tirelessly on our behalf".

"It wasn't until I put my boots on and I went outside walking and I realized that everything wasn't indeed fine", she said.

"The house in the back is gone", she says, gesturing around her. "It's filled with a lot of different types of people form all backgrounds and there are families missing".

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Rivers of mud have destroyed dozens of homes, many people are either trapped or missing.

"It's devastating", Winfrey continued. Peter Lapidus said the sound of droplets pummeling his home forced him out of bed around 4 a.m. Tuesday.

"The dogs were barking, I wake up and I can't believe that the sky seems like it's on fire", Oprah explained.

Oprah shared footage of the Californian devastation to her Instagram account.

Watch this segment where DeGeneres gets emotional describing going from one disaster to the next in the town of less than 10,000 people here "everyone kind of knows everyone".

The U.S. Forest Service announced Friday that the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire recorded in state history, was officially 100 percent contained, confirmed by aerial surveys of the charred 440-square-mile area. "Who would've expected we have this devastation again with the mudslides, and so soon?" she said. "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. The availability of the information on the website on the Highway 101 closure, the closure of the other local surface roads, and the maps keeping us informed reminded me why the local press is needed and why subscribers help pay to keep the Fourth Estate there for us.

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