My husband and I didn’t share the kid’s enthusiasm. During the Station fire, we were glued to the television 24 hours a day for five days, hoping to catch a glimpse of our neighborhood to see if our house was still standing.
While our home was not in danger from the storms two weeks ago, we were told to leave because of the possibility of our street being blocked by mudslides. While the stress level was much lower this time around, it’s still not the way I wanted to spend three days of a busy week.
I hear that some people are now asking if the evacuation was necessary. They say it was inconvenient and expensive for the evacuees. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone would question the authorities.
While I agree that packing up and staying away from home for a few days is certainly disruptive, it’s better to be safe and warm than to have a debris flow come crashing into your bedroom while you sleep. As for the expense, if you have homeowners insurance, your loss of use provision should cover the full cost of your hotel bill, regardless of your deductible.
There have also been residents quoted in the newspaper who think that the mountains are strong and won’t come down. They feel that because we made it through the last series of storms with no significant mudslides, that we’re in the clear.
What they don’t realize is that nothing happened because the predicted 20 inches of rain didn’t happen. We got about 10 inches and it was spread out over a week with no hard downpours, which is what we’ve been told could cause the biggest problems.
The 1934 New Year’s flood showed exactly how bad things can get. Anyone who’s seen the pictures should be concerned about it happening again.
While some debris basins and flood control channels have since been built in the valley, nothing has really changed in Pickens and Goss Canyons for the last 75 years. A major mudslide in either of these could easily result in the loss of homes and even lives, if warnings aren’t heeded.
Just as in August, last month we were once again fortunate that Mother Nature didn’t do her worst to the Crescenta Valley. Do you really think our luck will hold forever? If evacuations are called for again, do the smart thing and go.
Get in touch SHARON RAGAVACHARY is a former Crescenta Valley Town Council member and on the steering committee for Crescenta Valley Community Assn. She may be reached at email@example.com.