When heavy rains began to fall on Oct. 18, 2015, Lina Myers thought she was ready.
After all, Myers had experienced a so-called “100-year flash flood” exactly 101 days before, so it was highly unlikely that a major flood would occur again. She had placed sand bags everywhere around her home, put on a comforter and waited.
Within 20 minutes, water had come in through all four walls and was around her ankles.
“The land turned into a river coming right in our front door, and then I was standing in 10 inches of water. It was like a horror movie: Revenge of the Sludge.”
Myers and her fiancé, Jim Lambert, frantically moved furniture and other items to the second floor of their home, which is located in the White Mountains (Chalfant) area in rural Bishop, Mono County. Of the 18 homes in the area, Myers’ home was the only one to sustain major damage. Their septic tank and well also were compromised.
Later that day, Jennifer Faux from the Red Cross Los Angeles Region contacted Myers to find out if they needed assistance. (The L.A. Region serves residents in Inyo and Mono Counties.) At first, Jim was reluctant to accept any help, saying there were people who needed assistance more than they did. However, Faux assured them that it’s part of the Red Cross mission to provide financial and other assistance to those people who are affected by disasters.
Myers said although they were initially hesitant, she is now so thankful to the Red Cross for providing them with financial assistance, which they used to stay in a motel overnight, buy food and replace some essential items. She also is grateful for the printed information she received about how to take care of one’s emotional health after a disaster.
“That brochure became my therapy. I still read and re-read the tips and find them really comforting,” said Myers. “They seem obvious but are really spot on and helpful.”
Myers, who will soon move with Jim from the damaged home, praises the Red Cross workers for their genuine concern and follow-up. “It’s just one little house, but it was our house. You made us feel important.”