Run For Your Life. What do you Grab?

Your house is may be destroyed…you have just a few minutes to escape…

(Section of the emergency spillway that gave way.)

What do you take?

“My dogs, phone, and money,” said Sabrina, “and a few clothes. Comfortable shoes and socks, because I might have to walk a long ways.”

“What about dog food…or a phone charger?” I ask…

“Less important,” says my logical sister, “someone will probably have a phone charger, and I can get dog food…dogs will eat most anything.

“And I have one drawer with important things… Alicia’s ruby ring and such, I’d try to get that.”

This is not some hypothetical example. Sunday night 188,000 people in rural Northern California were given just a few minutes to leave their homes under fear that a part of the Oroville Dam, the highest dam in the U.S., might give way, causing a 30-foor wall of water to wash away homes in its wake.

We were having birthday cake for Ariel—Happy Birthday Ariel!!—when Sabrina got texts from friends across the country asking if she was okay. She lives near Sacramento, which is 65 miles south of Oroville.

“The is not a test! This is not a test!” were the alerts ordering and mandatory evacuation.

Immediately there were huge traffic jams, and gas stations ran out of gas.

An emergency spillway, supposed to handle overflow, developing a football field-size opening. Extreme rainfall in Northern California has stressed the dam and the warm rain we’ve had is even worse, because it also melts the snow pack. Officials are releasing water at a rate of 100,000 cubic feet per second, trying to lower the water level of the dam by FIFTY FEET in anticipation of more rain scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.

Officials are trying to plug the hole with rocks. Lots and lots of rocks, bags of rocks dropped from helicopters. Residents have been told to expect to be away from their homes for two weeks.

What would you take?

(What 100,000 cubic feet of water per second looks like.)

Being a fairly new resident of San Francisco, where an earthquake is bound to happen, I’ve thought about that.

After Katrina I bought little kit for car. I Always try to keep my gas tank at least half full.

I’m with Sabrina pretty…dogs, money, and phone.

But I want my own charger!

About Karen Ray

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