Tuesday morning I was at work when I got a call from a neighbor letting me know there had been a landslide on our road. They evacuated everyone in the area right away. It had been raining really hard that morning and there were a few other landslides as well as a sinkhole that occurred. We learned that three people were missing and everything shifted into emergency mode. Of course, the Biologist was away at field camp without cell reception.
After I got off work, I was able to get five minutes (literally) inside our trailer to pick up some necessities. I grabbed a change of clothes, some toiletries, a sweater and my phone charger. Let me just say – its REALLY hard to figure out what you need when you have five minutes. Some friends were nice enough to let me stay at their house for the night. On the way over, I realized I had forgotten to grab underwear (insert slap to forehead here). So I went and bought the only pair of womens underwear (outrageously priced) that was available at the store downtown.
On Wednesday they brought in scientists and people to survey the area. They also started body recovery efforts for the people who were missing. The Mcmansion was still in the evacuation zone but they did let us go back in briefly to grab a few more things. The end of the landslide is about 150 yards from our trailer. It was kind of surreal…the blockade, all the police, lights and helicopters circling overhead. The Governor took a tour, a bunch of important people came and we all waited. The Biologist made it back that evening and we spent another night with our friends.
Today (Thursday) they felt it was safe and stable enough for us to come home. It is a little eerie, but I am so happy I am to be home. It is difficult to describe what this experience has been like…very emotionally draining and a lot like Mr. Toad’s wild ride. Ironically, this is actually the second evacuation we have been through since we moved here. Tonight I am so incredibly tired. I am sad for the families who lost their loved ones. I am thankful that at this moment we are okay. I wish I could express my feelings more eloquently – but my heart is heavy and exhausted.
Life is short. You never know what might happen. Lets all hang in there together.
Stay safe my friends!