*****hard read***death****babies***tragic situations*****
|that is not a river, that is the freeway|
The fire, which is still not 100% contained, has left nothing on our surrounding mountains, valleys, canyons and roads. There is no habitat and the animals that are found are badly burned or sick.
and if that is not heartbreaking enough...
Monday night we got our first rain, and in one nearby town they got 8 inches of rain in 15 minutes!
It created a large debris flow (topsoil, dead plants and trees, boulders) and mudslide that has destroyed the quiet community and so far resulted in 16 deaths and over two dozen people still missing, hundreds trapped via inaccessible roads on their roofs and many more injured.
Airlift evacuations and evacuations via military vehicles and personnel are currently taking place. There are search dogs and search and rescue personnel currently looking for survivors and those who have perished.
Some of these people did not heed the mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders, still ruffled from finally being home after being displaced by the fire only a couple of weeks ago; but the majority of them were in a warning area...which is "a be prepared to leave but we are on watch and wait" kind of order. So they were totally taken off guard. The mud slid at 3:30am- I got an emergency flash flood warning on my phone at 3:40am (even though I am not in the area, it went out like an Amber Alert)
There is one main highway that connects my community to this community and that is covered in mud and debris and it stretches for about 30 miles.
The sound of helicopters once again fills the skies and the photographs are too much to bear.
The video footage is constant and it is a race against time to find the missing.
Although we are all spread out, it is a small community where people know people or have visited their shops or restaurants.
The photos of the missing are heartbreaking and when you recognize someone your heart sinks and regardless of your spiritual belief you start hoping for the best.
None of these people deserved this, no one should have to go through this, regardless of choices made; good or bad.
There was a couple interviewed by news agencies yesterday, both in shock, rescued from the roof of their home, transported by military personnel to a safe spot. They were getting onto their roof when the man heard a baby, he found a baby under four feet of mud, cleared the mud from its mouth and it was helicoptered away (it is expected to survive)...he said he didn't know where it came from.
If he had not been evacuating, he could not have saved it.
I was torn into a million pieces seeing this yesterday, as you can imagine.
I am taking care of myself, unable to go to work or yoga class
I am in the studio making or trying to make art.
Hoping for more survivors and good stories
all to the background hum of helicopters
hug your loved ones
hug your friends
offer a kind word to a stranger
be kind to yourself