Rob Lowe has been luckier than many in the Santa Barbara area this week.
The Code Black actor’s home was spared by the deadly mudslides caused by torrential rain on Tuesday, his interior designer tells PEOPLE.
“Fortunately, Rob’s home has not been affected as it sits at a higher altitude,” says David Phoenix of the Georgian-style residence on four acres near Santa Barbara. “Montecito is home to many beautiful historic landmark properties. Our hearts go out to everyone in Montecito.”
Many others were not so fortunate. The natural disaster has claimed 15 lives and many more people are injured or still missing.
Oprah took to Instagram on Wednesday to document the damage to her own property, which she says is minimal compared to the fate of her neighbors’ homes. According to a tweet from Lowe, the TV mogul’s 65-acre estate was being used as a “staging ground for helicopter rescues” on Tuesday.
Lowe, 53, posted a photo on Instagram Monday morning noting his family had received orders to evacuate. “Wayne is ready for the rain. We are under mandatory evacuation orders again!” he wrote. The home he shares with wife, Sheryl, and sons, Matthew and John, was also threatened by the California wildfires in December, when he posted a photo of the mountainside visible from his backyard engulfed in flames.
The father of two also shared his thoughts on Twitter on Tuesday, writing, ” Praying for all our friends and neighbors. Very bad situation in Montecito.” That night, he added, “Mourning the dead in our little town tonight. Praying for the survivors and preparing for whatever may come.”
In his statement to PEOPLE, Phoenix noted he believes the special quality of the seaside community, which is also home to Ellen Degeneres, will help it pull through the series of disasters that have struck in the last two months.
“Montecito is one of the crown jewels of Southern California, nestled in on the coast. It has a charming small-town feeling like the town I grew up in, in New England. There is a wonderful sense of community here, which has been critical to helping victims cope with the tragedy,” he says.