The Next Day
September 06, 2013 by Yugen
The car pictured yesterday, now completely submerged in the mud.
Yesterday was bad, but today was almost unbelievable. My 4WD truck was the only vehicle we could get up the road. The road is barely even recognizable as a road at this point, with channels many feet deep criss-crossing it at various points and many parts totally washed out exposing culverts and previously buried phone wires.
Today we didn't try and dig out buildings or add drainage ditches. It is now beyond that point. Everything we did yesterday was wiped out during the storm in the afternoon. The office now has mud coming up to it. The entire plane from the buddha hall to the office is many feet of mud and rock—all distinguishing features have been wiped out or covered.
We got our GMC snow plow running which alongside my truck we filled with as much as we could. We took the statues and instruments from the meditation halls, office files and computers, tools and some personal items. We did a few runs, dropping the rescued objects off at our neighbors parking lot where we filled all the cars that the various residents arrived in.
Caltrans were working on clearing all the debris on Apple Canyon Road, and were also working on unblocking one of the main culverts which moves water from the one side to the other which was completely full of debris. A crew with a lot of heavy machinery were still working on the culvert as we evacuated around 1pm. Some chunks of the paved road had washed away. Only parts on the edge, but it looks possible that Apple Canyon Road itself might be washed out some point this week.
We are going to meet tomorrow morning at the foot of Apple Canyon Road again and see if we are able to get up. If so, we'll continue to pull out what we can. There is a good chance that buildings and contents will be lost by the end of the storms, which are still predicted as far as the forecast goes, to next Friday. The pictures I am posting give a sense of the damage, but they can't really take in the magnitude of what has been lost. The canyon is in the process of reclaiming our grounds, and by the time it is done, it is impossible to say if there will be much left. If the levels rise as they have over the past few days, it doesn't look good.
It seems we're beyond volunteers coming in to help out, beyond digging out the center. Right now our immediate concern is how to continue in some shape or other and to protect the core of the sangha. We hope in some shape or form, Yokoji will reseed, although almost certainly in a new incarnation. We have already asked, and you have already given, but more than anything else we need financial support right now. Our insurance does not cover debris flow (virtually no carrier is willing to take the risk) and the loan we were hoping to take out from the federally funded SBA (Small Business Administration) looks less likely as our collateral for the loan is rapidly sinking into the ground.
If you can give more, or have any thoughts as to how we can go forward from this point, financially speaking, then please help.
Tenshin Roshi assessing the damage this morning
The mud level now totally covering the deflection wall we had built
The mud is now up to the office, despite all our defences
What used to be the trash and recycling area
The ground holding the bell is starting to subside as the stream bed widens