Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Update

No decision has yet been made. While there is undoubtedly much work we could do, travel costs may not allow us to do it. Here is a recap of the last few hours:

I spoke with Rob Hoffman this AM....I think he is the SBU alumni president for San Diego. (and a former XC runner!) His family was evacuated two days ago, but allowed back in last night,. They now have two families living with them. One family lost their house to the fire. The other family has not lost their house, but is not allowed back into their neighborhood yet.

He was at work but only about half of the people could make it in.

He said the air was full of ash (making running impossible) and that he would keep his eyes and ears out for jobs if we do go.

Here are a few articles to see what is happening there:

The Washington Post comments on how smoothly things are going in spite of having nearly a half of million people displaced.
"Officials are calling these some of the worst wildfires that San Diego County has seen in modern history. More than 500,000 people have been forced from their homes. But there is also a unique feel to this natural disaster, a distinctly California style, and it is not just the constant presence of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the TV screens. Meaning: California is dealing with it. Automated "reverse 911" calls were alerting residents to mandatory evacuations. Shelters opened almost immediately"
Both Time and the Christian Science Monitor report that FEMA is doing a much better job this time around. From Time:
""I think there's no question that a couple of lessons from Katrina we're putting into effect here are, first of all, planning and preparation in advance for these kinds of challenges," Chertoff said in a press conference. "Second, we have really flooded the zone as quickly as possible by staging assets to deal both with the firefighting issue and the response issue." Chertoff cited cooperation with the defense department and state authorities with helping battle the fire."
Yahoo has hundreds of pictures of the fires. This one in particular is amazing.

Here are some other California fire links that I have been following on my RandomTopcis2blog.

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