October 23, 2007

Firestorm Doll and Map

I was drawn to working on this doll.  Her waistline is covered with handmade silk flowers and seed beads.  The colors make me think of the angry red flames that have engulfed so many homes and property in San Diego.

I couldn't sleep last night and must have finally gone to bed after 2a.  This morning I awoke wanting news at 7a, but the TV showed no change.  Then the phone rang.  My heart stopped momentarily, thinking it could be a reverse 911 call advising us to leave.  Instead it was a prerecorded telemarketing call advertising carpet cleaning, grr!  For goodness sake -- don't they know we're supposed to keep the lines clear?!  I went back to sleep.  I knew Tien would wake me if necessary.

When I got up again, the news showed aircraft making water drops.  The Santa Ana winds died down enough for aircraft to do their work.  Previously, these westerly winds made water drops ineffective, reducing them to mist.  We are lucky that the only effects to our lives so far has been being stuck inside the house in a region with dangerous air quality.  We had a brief power outage yesterday which lasted only 20 minutes.  I have missed two days of work and Tien's office is closed.  While watering our parched garden late in the day, I could feel cool ocean breezes once again.  Soon I will remove the tape I used to seal east-facing windows from ash/smoke entering through cracks.

Our home is just below the border of the most recent advisory evacuation.  This is a Tues 11:30p map of the area from the SD County Emergency Services's website.  Open the map, zoom in to at least 50%.  It may take time to load.  Our house is in square 1208 and, to be exact, is located above the "R" in Mira Mesa.  Mira Mesa is the name of our neighborhood, as well as the main street which runs through it.

Tien's parents and three pairs of aunts/uncles live in Poway (squares 1170 and 1190) in an advisory evac zone.  I believe the restriction has been removed.  They stayed indoors playing mah jong, awaiting calls to leave which have not come.  During the 1991 Oakland firestorm when Tien's family lost their Berkeley house, I remember three inch pieces of ash blowing from the East Bay into SF; the same is not happening in our SD neighborhood.

Local officials said the worst is over and I hope they are correct.  They seem to have learned a lot from the devastating SD firestorm of four years ago when 3,500 homes were lost.  Inter-agency coordination has been improved.  Firemen, police, National Guardsmen and volunteers are all champions.  So many people want to help those who need it most.  Ah-nold is in town, as is Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric and Brian Williams.  The national news is quite a bit more sensationalized than the local news.

Thanks to family and friends who send love, phone calls and emails to ask how we are.  So far, so good.  We are grateful!

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