Friday, January 12, 2018

And now mudslides?

This was the site of houses that disappeared
I have not posted much in the past couple of weeks because the reading I am doing is for the CYBILS and I am not allowed to post any reviews of the books until the winners are announced on February 14.

And now I have something post-worthy that isn't book related. After suffering for almost a month with the Thomas Fires (see this post), on Tuesday, January 9 at 3:30am Santa Barbara (specifically my neighborhood of Montecito) was hit with mudslides. You have probably seen some of the details on TV this week, but it has been just devastating. My family and house are fine; we are two blocks from the slides. But our neighbors and community and people we know have been directly affected.



As of today (Friday) the number of people who have died (ages 3 to 89) is 18. The area is full of:

  • Search and rescue personnel and their dogs. This is the part that breaks my heart the most. I know they are working furiously to find survivors, but they are mostly finding bodies. And the bodies are up to a mile away from their homes, giving us all a visual of what they must have endured. In fact, survivors have been found up to 1.5 miles from their homes.
  • Utility trucks and workers trying to sort the piles of wires into some sort of order. Our house has power, but no internet or TV. I think this is a blessing as we aren't being inundated with images. Seeing it in person is enough, but it's strange that people far and wide are seeing the "bigger picture" that we can't see. I was interviewed by local television (I appear twice in the first minute) and it turns out it was picked up by PBS, ABC, CBN (Christian news) and even Australian TV. The New York Times even titled their video "It's Apocalyptic," which is my quote! I keep hearing from people all over the US and Australia that they've seen me on TV. Talk about surreal.
  • Fire trucks and firefighters... again. These poor people were just here in December fighting the Thomas Fire and now they are back. They are all incredible.
  • Dazed neighbors. I think we're all in shock. Seeing our neighbors staggering around covered in mud having lost everything is shocking. Seeing huge trees in splinters, cars upside down in feet of mud, houses ripped off their foundation, and more is than I can fathom and I am here.
  • Evacuations--we are just outside the mandatory evacuation zone so are surrounded by police cars checking IDs of everyone who walks or drives in the area. 
We get internet in one corner of my bedroom
So that's what's going on here. I hope you and yours are safe and well wherever you live.

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