Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Needing new home ASAP - Evacuee of Rock Creek Fire

Hi Folks,
Funny how the Universe works at times... this time the push has become a real shove. My housing situation has become quite urgent, meaning, I need to find a home ASAP, a quiet little house that I can call home, away from highway noise, and a place I can live for a few years.

Looking back at the neighbourhood going up in smoke.
You see, last Thursday, August 13, while I was working at the computer in my studio on Zamora just north of Rock Creek, in Westbridge, the power went out. I went outside to check what the problem was and saw this huge plume of black smoke with shots of red and orange flames and it was heading right in my direction. The roar was frightening, as was the hot wind, and the speed at which it was approaching. No time to think... it was time to evacuate and I didn't have a proper plan. I did check on an elderly neighbour first, she had already left, then grabbed the computer tower (no cables etc... no time), my guitar and binders of my original music and more, then a suitcase with a few things, then it was time for the cat. She hid of course, anywhere she could. So in the van, along with my two folding tables for market, the awning, legs to another table (the top is lying by the porch) I added a suitcase of whatever I grabbed in my hands for clothes, the above items, some bottles of water, the cat in a carrier and headed out.

I joined Elva on Hwy 33 as we began a convoy of cars moving slowly along ahead of the fire. We eventually made it to Beaverdell thinking we could stop and have a coffee or cup of tea. It was a 45 minute drive, But there was no power, no radio, no phones, no service, at Beaverdell and we were unable to find out what to do. A group of us decided to head for Kelowna and a motel.
North of Beaverdell, at the highway rest stop, folks managed to get phone reception. One neighbour found out, from their family in Ottawa, that we were to go to a particular church in Kelowna and register.
In all we drove 1 1/2 hours from Westbridge to Kelowna, pulled into the church and there was nobody there. Someone from the church arrived shortly after we did and re-directed us to the Salvation Army where we were then welcomed and truly taken care of.
I was put in a hotel overnight, then I chose to stay with friend Carol in Naramata for a few days, all the while thinking I have lost everything. But it seems the trailer is still standing, however the condition of things is not known. I will find out shortly.
Meanwhile, I am now back staying in Grand Forks with friend Joyce. I will have to make that journey to Rock Creek to see what I have left, then figure out how to relocate, in a hurry. So if anyone knows of a place I can call home please do e-mail me at or phone 250-442-8658. My own phone does not exist at this time.

Meanwhile, I do know of friends who have lost everything. Nothing left. It is those I feel so deeply for. At least I have a few things in my van, and also, maybe, STUFF in the trailer. Meanwhile I give gratitude that we are all alive, and also gratitude to all the firefighters, volunteers at the evacuee centres, and all the back-up crews of police, regional district etc. who are taking care of everything. I hear the fire has already cost over 200 million dollars.

And it started with a CIGARETTE BUTT!

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