In San Bernardino mountains, residents hit by devastating mudslide fear more to come
The first reports of the mudslide that left homes and businesses smoldering came Thursday afternoon.
San Bernardino NationalForest officials and the Red Cross were on standby to respond to the threat of the slide, which could bury communities that are just a few hours north of Los Angeles.
A day after a series of earthquakes shook the region to its core, some residents in Montecito were terrified of what could lie in store for the next wave of tremors.
For some residents, though, the threat was of a different nature. It came as an unannounced and unexpected rain that pelted the mountains, flooding homes in some cases. But in others, the threat was of mud.
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A woman, whose home was buried six feet under mud-laced debris, was among the residents in Montecito who were evacuated.
In some cases, mud is the least of the threat to homes and businesses.
“I don’t know what to think right now,” said Jeff Roesler, who owns a pizza shop in San Bernardino.
“I mean, I’m just going to wait and see what happens,” he said.
Mudslides are rare in the area, but have occurred in the past.
In May 1999, residents evacuated as two slides were discovered before they buried homes and businesses.
In 2003, the Mayan Fire burned more than 15 square miles and the town of San Bernardino was evacuated. It was less than two years later when residents discovered another slide.
It wasn’t until this spring that residents were told that another slide was on the rise.
“We’re just kind of waiting on the rain,” said Roesler.
Residents were warned that if the rain didn’t hold off, they should stay off their mountain, stay home and monitor their cellphones for updates on the status of the slides.
“We’ve been here for 100 years,” said Roesler. “That stuff never happens to us. We’re just kind of out of options.”