Two days after the Golden Globes and a speech that had everyone talking, Oprah Winfrey’s thoughts are not on her presidential prospects but with her neighbors in Santa Barbara, California, where heavy rains have caused dangerous mudslides and led to fatalities.
At least 15 people have died and officials in Santa Barbara County say that number could rise.
A number of homes have been destroyed and first responders have rescued at least 50 people.
“Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara,” Winfrey wrote late Tuesday, sharing photos of her mud-soaked backyard and helicopters making rescues in the area.
In a follow-up post Wednesday morning, Winfrey clarified that her property suffered only “minor damage that pales in comparison to what my neighbors are going thru (sic).”
She said in a video that one of her neighbor’s homes was “devastated.”
“Thanks everyone for your prayers and concern,” she wrote.
The mudslides and floodwaters have most affected areas in close proximity to wildfires that raged recently in Southern California, including the Thomas Fire, which has burned 281,893 acres to date.
Vegetation destroyed by the fires had acted as a sort of flood protection for certain residential areas, leaving them vulnerable to mudslides and floods.
In the video Winfrey posted, she shows herself walking in knee-deep mud and giving a view of the scene.
“The house in the back is gone,” she said.
The rainfall in the Los Angeles area was expected to clear by late Tuesday.
Since Sunday and the subsequent reports that Winfrey is “actively thinking” about running for president in 2020, Winfrey has not officially commented on the speculation.
On Tuesday, Winfrey’s close friend and “CBS This Morning” co-host, Gayle King, said Winfrey is “intrigued by the idea.”