It is not as we had thought–this week of Christmas. Things have gone awry, and here, alone, we sit, Jerry and I.
The plan was this: On Monday Steve and Dearrah would drive up from San Diego. Chris and Joel and their families would meet here too, driving down from Carson City, Nevada. We would eat together, exchange gifts, they would spend the night, then leave on Tuesday.
In the middle of the week, Andrew and his family would drive up from San Diego, Rebecca and Nathaniel would also come, and on Friday, Michael and Melina would drive over from Lake Havasu City. We would exchange gifts and have our special dinner on Christmas day.
I was content with these plans (actually I want all the kids and the grandkids and the great-grandkids here for the holidays–every holiday–all at the same time, but that just can’t always happen, you understand. Too many other people involved who also need a turn at having the loved ones at their places on the holidays. I get that.) and after Brother Reece’s funeral on Thursday, at Costco and Stater Brothers, we again filled our car as we laid in groceries for the feasts and festivities we were expecting.
Trouble began. Storms. On Friday, it began raining in earnest, and to this moment here on Wednesday evening, it has not stopped. We didn’t even go to church on Sunday, for by then the ground was so saturated that news of dangerous mud and rock slides were numerous. On Sunday, alone, the skies saturated Crestline with a drenching that measured ten inches! Our annual precipitation is nearly 42 inches. In this storm alone, we have received more than 34 inches. It is a rare thing–a weather phenomenon. Lake Gregory has risen more than two feet.
We called Steve on Sunday afternoon to report what was going on, and talked with Chris and Joel who were trying to make up their minds about coming down at all. Massive snow had fallen in the mountains around them, and conditions were treacherous. By Monday, they had decided. Steve and Dearrah would stay in San Diego, and the boys would drive straight there, bypassing us here in Crestline. We understood the danger in traveling here and agreed with the plan. The boys started out together, Joel in a four-wheel-drive truck, and Chris in a passenger car with chained tires to cope with the icy and snowy highways. Conditions were so bad that Chris was only able to drive 15 miles an hour and was sliding all over the place. When a chain broke, he decided to turn back, so now he’s in Carson City alone with his wife and two babies. Joel made it to San Diego about midnight Monday.
Andrew was set to drive up today, as was Rebecca but we advised against it. Roads are closed, roads are flooded, the earth is saturated and boulders with no notice let loose and bound onto the roadways, houses in Highland have been swept away, a bridge broken, and it is still raining. Today we had thunder, lightening, snow, hail, sleet…and rain…and rain.
Forecasters say this storm should move out tonight, so we’re hoping our children can dash up here tomorrow and Friday. In the meantime, we’re all safe with little damage. Rebecca’s garage playroom has flooded ruining the carpet and the lower walls, but it could be much worse. Jerry and I are cozy, our house is dry, phone service and electricity haven’t floundered, we’ve plenty of wood for the fireplace…..and lots of food!
There are graphic pictures from the LA Times here showing flooding in southern California and more details from Fox News here. A hotel was evacuated in San Diego, and even Sea World was closed for one day because of rising water.