November 17th, 2008

[SE] Patti - no use it's dead

(no subject)

I'm aliiive. \o/ Everything was touch and go for a while, but it turned out we didn't need to evacuate. We definitely dodged a bullet, considering what happened to the others cities in the line of fire.

A summary of events:

• On Saturday, we were all pretty confident that we'd be safe, but the fire kept creeping closer and closer to Diamond Bar, so Tif and I thought it was better to be safe than sorry. We packed essentials and sentimental items on Saturday night and threw it all in our cars so we could be ready to leave at a moment's notice. It was difficult trying to sleep that night, but we eventually passed out at about 2 in the morning.

• At around 4:30am on Sunday, my mom and sister knocked on the door and asked us if we'd gotten our stuff together because the fire had reached our city. It was... surreal, to say the least. I cried at the thought of coming back to nothing, but I did my best to mentally prepare myself. From the start, they said Diamond Bar was basically at the mercy of the wind. The previous day saw winds at hurricane speed, and if the same were to happen again, the city would have been in a lot of danger.

• All of our neighbors told us to stay put until we were asked to evacuate (either voluntarily or mandatorily), so we sat around all day with the news on, watching as the fire inched closer and closer. Eventually the people in the Country Estates (a rich district on top of the hills across from us) were told to evacuate because the fire had reached the backside of their hills. Thankfully, the wind (which, fortunately, wasn't too strong) was going against the flames, so the danger was mostly kept at bay.

• Throughout the day, more sections of south Diamond Bar (where we live) were told to evacuate, including the apartment complex a block away from us. The streets were blocked off so that you could leave, but you couldn't come back unless you went around in a big circle waaaay out of the way.

• By last night, it was hard to find any new information on the fire, so we took that as a good sign, but kept everything in our cars just to play it safe.

• By this morning, people were still evacuated, but the firefighters were confident that Diamond Bar was no longer threatened. People were finally allowed back into their homes this afternoon. Tif and I brought all our stuff back in and even cleaned our room in the process! \o/

All in all, it was a trying (though... boring) experience, but we managed to amuse ourselves by plurking from our phones, making jokes in bad taste ("Why did I wake up with 'Trogdor' in my head? Could it be because the countryside is burninating?"), and plotting for DDD. :P

Suffice it to say, we'll have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Thanks for all the well wishes, everyone. ♥

Side note: it's not fun blowing your nose and finding ashes in the tissue. :P

[edit] Ohh, I forgot to mention! Diamond Bar was also very lucky because there was much more available man power than there was on Saturday, as well as drop planes! I'm not sure what the issue was the day before was (maybe the rough Santa Ana winds prevented the planes from taking off), but there weren't nearly enough resources. There were helicopters and drop planes flying over our house constantly, and we got to see them in action on TV! \o/ It was pretty cool.