We were WAY too close that that explosion/fire yesterday. Our town borders San Bruno, where it all happened. From our back yard we could see a huge plume of black smoke and could smell the fire. Sirens going off all over town. People standing in the street to look and wonder.
It's one of those events that makes you realize how lucky you are, and how quickly it can all be taken away.
The Bay Area has mobilized, as it does in times of trial. People lined up to donate food and clothes. Blood banks booked solid. The shelter was busy taking care of displaced animals, injured wildlife, and frantic pet owners. THere had already been a half-dozen tear-filled reunions between pets and people. Sadly, more coming in all day. Our overflow was taken by shelters in neighboring counties. Kennels lined up in hallways and offices. We've moved some of our adoptable animals to other locations so we can keep people's pets in-house. Our amazing volunteers have stepped up to put in extra hours feeding and caring. Others have opened their homes as foster houses.
I hugged Cipher (The World's Most Amazing Cat, Screw You if You Don't Agree tm) a bit tighter today and thought how devastated I'd be if anything happened to her.
As long as I had her and Husband, I'd be OK. But far too many of our friends and neighbors have lost it all.
I can still smell residual smoke in the air. i can tell by my coughing that my allergies and bronchitis (have I mentioned I have bronchitis?) have been affected. There was a light dust of ash this morning. The backyard cats were more skittish than usual.
We watched the news last night until the anchors ran out of things to say. After hours of non-stop coverage of a disaster having some yobbo say "this is obviously a serious situation" is actually darkly funny. My brother is a local fire chief so I knew he was in the thick of things. He and his guys are all fine, thankfully. And thankfully far fewer fatalities than there could have been.
Today was a bit unreal. People were more considerate of each other. Drivers a bit nicer. I noticed more people talking on the streets, comparing notes, checking in. All my shelter friends greeted each other with "everyone you know OK?" and took the time to reassure or commiserate.
That's the only good thing about bad things.
Hug your loves a bit closer for me.