On Friday, the estimated number of missing people was down to five, after an estimate of 43 on Thursday.
DeGeneres broadcast the FaceTime call on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" where she described the experiences of the "tight-knit" community where 17 people have died and as of late Thursday eight people were still unaccounted for.
Search dogs and their handlers have been working tirelessly this week in knee-deep muck, looking for signs of hope in a bleak, desperate situation.
Frustrations and dark discoveries mounted for the Santa Barbara County town of Montecito, which has been ravaged by a destructive mudslide that has killed at least 18 people and left another seven missing.
Tanker trucks sucked muddy water from flooded sections of US 101, the only direct major artery between Los Angeles and the Santa Barbara region and an important route for many people who work in the Santa Barbara region but live down the coast in Ventura County.
Mudflow and damage from mudslides are pictured in this aerial photo taken from a Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit Fire Copter over Montecito, California January 10, 2018.
More people in the state are in the hospital with flu-like symptoms, and there's been some shortages of medications, such as Tamiflu, in pharmacies. "It was activated at the appropriate time actually when the event was occurring", Brown said. "I should have just told her to leave".
"We know that this a terribly inconvenient development, but it is also incredibly necessary", Brown said. More than 1,560 personnel were assigned to the search-and-rescue and cleanup efforts in an incident area that spanned 30 square miles.
The zone, which includes areas formerly under voluntary evacuation advisories, will be in effect for one week but residents should plan for two, Brown said.
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The searchers are using all-terrain vehicles and helicopters, but downed power lines and blocked roads are complicating their efforts.
And after speaking about the damage with Ventura City County firefighters, the Wrinkle In Time star ended with an uplifting message about how to move forward from the natural disaster. He and his parents put their belongings in three cars in case they chose to leave before the storm. "It just exhausts the crews out there", Sacramento Fire Department Captain Pat Costamagna said in a social media video from the governor's emergency management office. "We're just having to take some odd routes". "(It) surrounded the house, 2 to 3 feet".
"We have got to get those basins cleaned as fast as we can", Lewin said.
The disaster struck on Tuesday after heavy rains soaked the area north of Los Angeles, where vegetation had been destroyed by the largest wildfire in California's history. It wasn't fully contained until this week.
"We're still getting Firestone's beer delivered", he said.
"(But) no storm brings down everything that is susceptible.
The opening date is "truly unknown", she said, especially with more rain expected at the end of next week.
What can be done?
Many residents chose to stay.