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“I’ve always seen first responders as unsung heroes and very special people because, when everyone else is running away from danger, they run into it.” Dwayne Johnson
Our little corner of the world in Santa Barbara California has been hit hard with famous Thomas fires the largest fire at that time, in California’s recorded history. The ramifications of that fire left us in a world of hurt beyond anyone’s imagination. Ventura county lost more structures where Santa Barbra had more time to prepare. The first responders and numerus fire fighters gallantly battled to save our homes.
The deep layer of smoke filled sky lasted for a couple of weeks. It was bizarre to witness people walking around with surgical masks on their faces. Eerie and creepy the sunless sky that was filled with thick smoke. Darkness surrounded us and darkness was felt. We were all living in a survival mode everyone shared an anxiousness, no one escaped that.
After the fires stopped and the air cleared, gratitude loomed as homemade signs were plunked down on street corners thanking the firefighters and first responders. The air smelt like a rental car that had been smoked in. Our beautiful hills were covered in grey ash. They looked moon like, magical, stating as a reminder of how lucky we were. The mountains that were ravaged, now sparkled in ash. One firefighter was sadly lost, never to be forgotten.
Then the flood. The one-hundred-year event of a power storm that released rain concentrated in one place, our ashen hills. A broken gas line lite up the sky in the wee hours of that dreadful Tuesday morning. The miracle of the lit sky gave few a moment to get out of the way of the sixty mile and hour surge of mud and debris. Including but not limited to, enormous boulders, cars turned into balls, trees uprooted that once stood strong. This powerful beast did not discriminate, anything in its path was taken with it. The ash and the vulnerability from the fires came together with the flood. A surreal moment in one’s lifetime to see such a thing, to survive such a thing. The once grey hills were now veins carved out as a reminder what mother nature can do. The death toll climbed as many people did not survive the horrific moment that happened. Like an accident, no one really saw it coming, as it did.
We had made it through the fires, our air was clean, we were safe, right? No, we did not get out of this one, Santa Barbra was again in trouble. Only this time much worse. The thousands of people who showed up to help and the town folk all shared a certain shock that vibrated though our souls. We all had our “story” some much more shocking than others, all hearts felt this tragedy.
I am writing about this again because it was not over. March rains have presented more evacuations. I am an author that lives in a humble home in Montecito that personally was evacuated 32 days. The rains were predicted to bring six inches of downpour in three days. We are praying that the last couple of months of work on the creeks will be effective. That there will be no more loss of life and homes. That all the first responders will be safe and get deserved recognition for their valiant bravery.
Prayers for those families that lost family members, homes, personal property. It is a sadness that is felt, they do not stand alone in tears. We will not forget; we will give you our love our prayers the clothes off our back. We are a strong community and 805 will rebuild and be strong again. The hills will sprout green and we will all come together courageously with our boots on the ground in love. That is what happens in a small town that got effected in a big way. We unite.
My Mantra: “I feel grateful to be a part of a strong community”