Author Archives: Red Cross Northern California Coastal

Red Cross volunteers support residents affected by current storm

Thursday, February 14, 10 a.m. — The series of storm systems that have pummeled California this week are causing flooding and mudslides in some of the Northern California counties that make up the American Red Cross’s Northern California Coastal Region (NCCR).

Red Cross disaster teams in our region opened two evacuation centers in the past 24 hours due to weather-related issues. Here are reports received this morning related to those incidents and other incidents:

In Marin County: A mudslide in the middle of the night caused a home in Sausalito to slide into a vacant home below it. One woman was rescued. About 50 homes are currently evacuated in the area as a precaution while officials determine the stability of the rest of the homes on the hill. Red Cross is operating the evacuation center at Sausalito Fire Station 1. Twenty-five to 30 residents are currently at the evacuation center. Red Cross volunteers are on site providing care and comfort to the residents awaiting word from officials.

In Santa Clara County: The Weather Service issued a flood warning for the portion of the Guadalupe River in the middle of the City of San Jose at 2:30 a.m.  Red Cross opened an evacuation center at Willow Glen Community Center at 3:30 a.m. An evacuation advisory was issued at 4:21 a.m.  The evacuation advisory was lifted at 6:45 a.m. today. In total 20 people, three dogs, and three cats (managed by our partners) took refuge at our evacuation center.

In Santa Cruz County: A large oak tree fell on a home in Boulder Creek this morning, displacing residents there; the home is also being deluged by water from intense rains in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The local Red Cross chapter’s Disaster Action Team has provided support (emergency lodging, food, and clothing) to a family of four (2 adults and 2 children). There were no injuries reported.

Many thanks to the dozens of amazing Red Cross volunteers from our region who answered the call overnight and this morning to help those in need of shelter in the middle of this most recent storm.

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With winter storms affecting residents in California and elsewhere in the U.S., please take a few minutes to read this Red Cross story, which includes important tips on staying safe.

Red Cross provides support following gas line explosion in San Francisco

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See full-size photo and the incident photo album.

A gas line explosion in San Francisco on Wednesday, February 6, resulted in a three-alarm fire and displaced residents and workers. The explosion occurred around 1 p.m. at the corner of Geary Blvd. and Parker Ave. in the city’s Jordan Park neighborhood; the ensuing fire was brought under control about three hour later.

Six mixed-use commercial/residential buildings have been red- or yellow-tagged as a result of the incident.

An evacuation center was opened at Saint Mary’s Cathedral at 1111 Gough St. for individuals in need of shelter or impacted by PG&E’s need to shut off power to the affected area.

Red Cross volunteers also responded with an Emergency Response Vehicle to provide water and food to first responders and evacuated residents at Mel’s Diner. Two muni buses were requested as additional warm spaces for evacuees. Dinner was ordered for first responders and residents at the evacuation site and for the shelter.

The volunteers have collected information at the evacuation site from six families whose residences were affected by the fire. All other impacted individuals or families have found their own lodging.

Red Cross personnel closed the shelter today (Thursday, February 7) and are continuing with traditional casework and referrals to our partners.

Residents displaced by the gas line explosion and fire may call 415-427-8010 to register for Red Cross assistance and referrals.

Woof! Pet-Friendly Shelters Comfort Evacuees

by Patricia Kemp, Red Cross volunteer

For residents evacuated to Middletown Middle School during the Mendocino Complex Fire, the barking and meows of more than 100 of their furry family members were anything but annoying. In fact, they were downright comforting.

At the peak of evacuations, animals sheltered on the school’s campus outnumbered people by 2-to-1. More than 70 people and 140 pets stayed in the gym or camped in tents on the athletic field. Read more

Optimistic evacuee looking on the bright side of life

By Kathleen Maclay, Red Cross volunteer

Lori Rose of Lucerne isn’t one to let life pass her by – whether the nearly 84-year-old is making the most of being a Mendocino Complex Fire evacuee in a Red Cross shelter at Middletown High or zipping along Highway 20 bordering Clear Lake in a motorized scooter with a bright balloon trailing behind her.

To some, Rose’s life may sound challenging. After all, she’s blind in her right eye, she has diabetes, sometimes experiences vertigo and lost her husband to brain cancer in 1993.

But as she recounts being evacuated for the first time, it’s clear that Rose sees the glass as half full. Read more

Small kindnesses make the biggest differences

by Kathleen Maclay, Red Cross volunteer

A tired Rose Santana went from table to table at the crowded Local Assistance Center (LAC) in Lucerne on Monday. She was looking for help and getting it.  Signing up for Social Security, getting a temporary ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles, learning she needed a letter confirming she had lived in a motorhome on a friend’s Upper Lake land off White Rock Canyon Road from which she evacuated due to the Mendocino Complex Fire.

Santana, 64 and a Lake County resident since 1991, needed one more thing: a place to store her belongings – all contained in two rolling suitcases and a duffle bag. Read more

Community Connections Aids Recovery for Wildfire Survivors 

By Patricia Kemp, Red Cross Volunteer

Connie Sager didn’t hesitate when her phone started buzzing Aug. 3 with evacuation alerts. She scooped up her tiny dog, Taz, and headed for safe shelter. It was the third time this year Connie fled wildfires. But this time she had no home to return to in Spring Valley.  The Mendocino Complex Fire swallowed the place she lived for 35 years. What remained were melted bedframes, a charred refrigerator, and clothes smoldered to gray ash.

“My house is a total loss, red-tagged. I’m not processing it yet,” she said. Read more

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