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Oprah Winfrey joins hundreds to pay respect to people who died in Montecito tragedy a year ago

Mary Scott
Jan 10, 2019
11:01 P.M.

Oprah Winfrey joined hundreds of other people on Wednesday to pay tribute to victims of the Montecito Mudslide that caused loss of lives and property over a year ago.

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The media mogul was among hundreds of Montecito residents who held a vigil in honor of the lives that were lost in the horrific tragedy.

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In an Instagram video, Winfrey, 64, was seen linking arms with neighbors and fellow walkers as they went from the Lower Manning Park to San Ysidro Road and on to All Saints-by-the-Sea church.

The group held lights and assumed a solemn mood as they strode through the Santa Barbara County area.

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Winfrey’s caption for the clip read:

“A year ago today our little community was digging out of the mudslides. Searching for survivors. 22 dead. 2 were never found. Tonight we paid our respects remembering them in a candlelight vigil. #montecitostrong”

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Winfrey has her home in the Montecito area and was lucky it had only minor damage. One of her other famous neighbors, actor Rob Lowe, had his house still standing and sold it a couple of months after the tragedy.

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The year 2018 did not begin on an excellent note for Montecito residents who experienced the mudslide shortly after the raving wildfire nicknamed Thomas Fire.

According to CNN, the wildfires destroyed vegetation that had acted as flood protection for some residential regions, thus leaving them vulnerable to the tragedy.

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At the time, Winfrey also shared a video of the devastation and wrote:

“What a day! Praying for our community again in Santa Barbara. Woke up to this blazing gas fire. then swipe left to see how deep the mud is in my backyard. Helicopters rescuing my neighbors. Looking for missing persons. 13 lives lost. #Mudslides.”

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The “Oprah Winfrey Network” founder later informed fans that her property only suffered minor damage and thanked them for their concern.

Today, her Montecito home is all good and was the venue of Winfrey’s last Thanksgiving gathering where she hosted family and friends, including alumni from her Leadership Academy in South Africa.

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