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A shaken and emotional Ellen DeGeneres said her 82-year-old aunt had to quickly evacuate her home in Pass Christian, Miss., as Hurricane Katrina headed toward the Gulf Coast. "My aunt has lost everything, she has nothing," DeGeneres told AP Radio Wednesday. "She grabbed four pictures out of her house. She's lost her entire life."
DeGeneres, who was born in Metairie, La., said her childhood was filled with weekends at her aunt Helen Currie's home, just over the state line from New Orleans. "It's where I grew up every weekend. I spent all my childhood there," she said. "Pass Christian...is just gone. There's not one building left--no church, no nothing."
Mississippi governor Haley Barbour has said towns such as Pass Christian, Gulfport, and Long Beach are "simply not there" and compared the damage to Hiroshima. Meanwhile, DeGeneres said she is talking to networks about organizing a telethon to raise funds for hurricane victims,* similar to what was done after the September 11 terror attacks. Katrina telethons are already taking shape, featuring artists including Wynton Marsalis and Green Day. "Whether you have family there or not, it's a devastating situation," the 47-year-old actress-comedian said.
The third season of her syndicated talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, starts Tuesday. (AP)