Words by Leslie Monet
California residents can’t seem to catch a break from mother nature as she rips through Santa Barbara county, only this time instead of killer wildfires, flood waters turned scorched soil into torrential mudslides.
Rescue teams from the Coast Guard and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department were challenged yet again to brave natural disaster. Among those fortunate enough to be found so far were a young boy who was thrown hundreds of yards by the cement-like mud and an unidentified 14-year-old girl who was trapped under debris of her home that was heaved from it’s foundation. Her reaction, caught by local news, was that of utter shock of her retrieval, as she stated,
“I thought I was dead there for a minute.”
Although officials called for a mandatory evacuation, only 10 to 15 percent of them took heed. Of the area’s most tragically impacted by death tolls, was Montecito a wealthy enclave just northwest of Los Angeles and home to about 9,000 including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Rob Lowe. With the area having survived the largest wildfire ever recorded just last month, this horrific event puts salt on an open wound.
A record-breaking $306 billion in damages was recorded after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastated the United States, exceeding totals of $215 billion after Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Scientists are attributing the major catastrophes in part to climate change. With the wildfires still lingering in the deep of California’s forests and 4.5 magnitude earthquake hitting off the coast a couple days ago, we could only hope this series of storms and quakes withdraws itself from largely populated locations.