The entire state of California is currently amid a powerful storm, and the affluent seaside community of Montecito — home to numerous celebrities, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Oprah Winfrey, and Ellen DeGeneres — has been placed under an evacuation order as a result.
The Montecito fire district issued the order due to the “threats of life safety caused by the ongoing storm.”
Ellen DeGeneres posted a video of some of the massive flooding to her Twitter account, saying, “Montecito is under mandatory evacuation. We are on higher ground, so they asked us to shelter in place. Please stay safe, everyone.”
Montecito is under mandatory evacuation. We are on higher ground so they asked us to shelter in place. Please stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/7dv5wfNSzG
— Ellen DeGeneres (@EllenDeGeneres) January 9, 2023
She cautioned everyone to “be nicer to Mother Nature” and to stay safe. At the same time, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who recently relocated to Montecito, are in the news for Harry’s new memoir that is set to release tomorrow.
The storm has already caused several deaths, including two people killed by falling trees, and the raging floodwaters swept away a 5-year-old boy in San Luis Obispo County. The search for the missing boy was called off Monday afternoon, and officials have yet to declare him dead.
In other parts of the region, about 32,000 residents received evacuation orders in Santa Cruz County, and many highways and roads, including US 101, were closed. Several Northern California schools were closed, and tens of thousands are still without power in Sacramento.
President Biden has issued an emergency declaration to help with the storm response and ensuing relief, but Californians are still urged to remain vigilant. The NWS estimates that at least 8 inches of rain have fallen so far, with several more expected, and the threats of flooding and mudslides remain real.