Tandy and I had to drive to Winthrop today, and once we passed Wells Dam, it was a very quiet drive. From Carleton to Wells, it's like driving through Mordor; nothing but gray ash and rubble where once stood someone's home; plumes of smoke rising from the scorched ground. I've seen devastation like that before, in the Plain of Jars in Viet Nam. Napalm at work there, and even the rocks and dirt caught fire. That's what it looked like. Nothing but brown and gray ash as far as you could see. It tears at your heart. Small communities like Methow, where the local preacher has cases of water stacked on the porch for anyone who needs it; a land bereft of a smile. Miles of powerlines burned to the ground; some poles still on fire, but nothing else is left to burn. Nobody in Winthrop has power to pump water, run the phones, cook food, flush the toilet or even provide a light to see your way in the smokey gloom. Those who have generators are running out of fuel to run them, but they share to the last drop. Fire in the hills above Perrygin still burning, stores shuttered during what ought to be a busy summer; peoples' lives utterly destroyed, a dull look in their eyes as they search through what once was their home, looking for something-anything to hold to, that says "once this was home. I know what hell looks like; I just drove through it.
Things are extremely tight for me right now, making a cash donation not an option at the moment. What I do have is a whole storage unit stuffed full of household goods. Got clothes, kitchen items, furniture, lamps, some small kitchen appliances, a kitchen table/chairs, cabinet or two and lots more. I would be glad to donate any/all of it if someone is spearheading the cause. I'm in Kitsap, and not entirely sure how it would work out, but I'd be happy to do anything I could to help out.
Im so sorry for Keith and his family. I spent Friday and Saturday fighting fires at Black canyon, helping my dad and his neighbors save there homes. (and we saved everyone) My wife and daughters will be going back tomorrow with a truck load of donations for the Pateros high school. we will be volunteering at the school so my daughters can understand how fortunate the are and how it feels to help people in need. The Methow valley means a lot to me and always has. I do feel for Keith and that is a terrible thing to happen. But there are a lot of people in the same boat....
Hey everyone. Sue has told me what you all been doing and I'm so very greatful. I can not express my thanks in writing. We are ok and safe. We lost pretty much everything we own. Because I was leasing to own I no insurance on the house. The cheapest renters insurance I could find for the type of place it was, was almost $1200 a month. No way could I afford that. So now we have to start over and fresh. We will and are. Good thing is I have a great job and went back to it yesterday.So many others have lost everything like us. Items that can be replaced will be. Its the items that have great meaning and memories that can never be replaced.I pray everyday for everyone that has gone through this. All our hearts are heavy but in time will heal. A friend died the other day of a heart attack while fighting to save his home from this fire. Words can not express my sorrow for his wife. As I drove home last night I could not come to grips of the magnitude of loss. Hold all those people in your thoughts and prayers. One day at a time is the best thing we can do. Have to stay positive and keep our eyes forward. God bless you all and hope to see you on the river sometime in the future. ..Keith
It looks like I will be heading over to Winthrop on Saturday, Hwy. 20. Going with a friend to check his place, not threatened, but to see if the power has been restored. I plan to bring clothes for donation. Does anyone know of a donation point in Winthrop / Twisp? I know that they are using the high school in Winthrop as a place to stay.
Besides clothes are there other items that are needed that I can bring over from the wet side?
Scott, not sure about Winthrop but Pateros asked people to now limit their donations to some very specific gear as they had enough clothes and general household goods. Here's the Pateros list:
"Biggest needs: Camping supplies, handheld can openers, camp stoves, ice, flashlights, gas cards, large-sized diapers, solar yard lights, new socks and underwear, pots and pans, rakes, shovels and gloves."
A Twisp friend came down for a shower and internet and I offered to let him take back whatever he needed from my house and garage. He has a generator and his own camping gear but the two things he still needed were a 5 gallon water container with spigot (that we filled) and a sun shower as like most people, he's on a well and without power, he has no running water.