TRONA, Calif. – The Trona and Ridgecrest areas are attempting to get back to their pre-earthquake lives, but several ongoing situations are creating difficulties.
At the Town Hall meeting on Sunday evening, residents, mostly those living in the Trona area, have expressed the desperate need for help. Several have reported still having no running water, being in need of food, and not having electricity. Frustration, sadness, desperation, and anger all were clearly expressed by residents, some saying that the meeting was only a “pat on the back”. Stories of those unable to go home because their mobile or modular homes rocked off of the foundations during the earthquakes were shared by some sheltered at the Kerr McGee Community Center.
Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue Miracle Mutts Team from Tehachapi was at the
Red Cross Emergency shelter, comforting both adults and children who have been displaced as a result of the earthquakes on July 4th and July 5th.
Of course, the Red Cross has stepped
up to run the shelter and Kern and San Bernardino Counties have also stepped in. There is some help, but most say not nearly enough help has got to where it is needed yet. Still, the residents of Trona are reporting that they have no running water; meaning no cleaning, no washing hands, no showers, no drinking water, and no flushing toilets in their own homes.
Some of these households have extremely low incomes, have no vehicles, or have no fuel. Many are disabled, have disabled children, or are elderly. The residents have expressed the need for items including diapers, baby wipes, adult cleaning type body wipes (since they can’t shower), dog crates (for the Red Cross shelters), canned food, pet food, non-perishable snacks, baby formula, bottled water, pet food, jello, fruit, baby food, hand sanitizer, clean blankets, and camping gear.
Residents of both Ridgecrest and Trona have expressed gratitude to those
out of their general area who have traveled to their area with supplies. Residents from the Victor Valley area of the High Desert have collected items within their communities and have made several trips providing to those in need of supplies.
There are also collections in the Phelan, Pinion Hills, and Wrightwood areas. Several people have reached out to 24/7 Headline News to offer their trucks and time to make the deliveries. Several have offered to do local pickups and many have offered donated items, money to purchase items, and a couple of people have even graciously contributed to the fuel costs for some of the deliveries. Jennifer Kiever recently delivered a truckload of water and some snacks. She reported that a couple from Orange County was also delivering a truckload of water when she and her friend, Ann Lind were delivering in their trucks.
The Trona Baptist Church, located at 84661 Trona Road in Trona is collecting and delivering donations to the people in Trona who are in need. In addition, for those wishing to donate items, the Red Cross has expressed the need for snacks, diapers, dog crates, pet food, and baby wipes. These items can be delivered to Trona High School, located at 83600 Trona Rd, Trona or the Ridgecrest Police Department at 100 W. California Avenue in the City of Ridgecrest.
The Ridgecrest Animal Shelter and Almost Eden Animal Rescue have said that they are in need of potty pads, pet food, blankets, kennels, and play yards. The Ridgecrest Animal Shelter is located at 411 San Bernardino Blvd. in Ridgecrest and Almost Eden Animal Rescue is located at 355 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. in Ridgecrest. They have a large number of animals that became lost after running scared during the earthquakes.
The community overall has come together, and clung close to one and other, looking out for their neighbors. Trona, which is having the most difficulties following the earthquakes, has seen the least assistance since most deliveries initially went to Ridgecrest. Although some residents have not received any help, days after the earthquakes, some have reported the Red Cross going door-to-door dropping off water, MRE’s (Meals Ready-to-Eat), cleaning supplies, and other items. Others have also mentioned individuals and churches bringing assistance when it is needed the most.
The San Bernardino County Fire Incident Commander has estimated that 20-50 structures have sustained damage with more expected to be identified. Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is closed and they are triaging patients in the parking lot under a tent. Traffic signals throughout the region are blinking red lights. The Naval Air Warfare Weapons Center will remain closed to the majority of their personnel until Wednesday, July 10, 2019, until the damage can be evaluated.
It may be months until there will be normalcy in the Trona and Ridgecrest areas.
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