Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Frustration road back to Ramona

Posted @ 7:52 PM

As of 7 p.m., dozens of Ramona residents had parked their cars, motorcycles and RVs at the blocked-off intersection of Scripps Poway Parkway and Highway 67, hoping California Highway Patrol officers would let them through.

Some, including Benjamin Spilman, said they are getting frustrating because they have spoken with neighbors in Ramona who say it is safe.

"I'm not hearing much from anybody except from people who had stayed," said Spilman, who had been at the desolate intersection since noon. "They say there's a little bit of smoke and that's it."

Spilman wanted to know what's keeping them from getting home.

CHP officer Ray Ayala from Stockton had been guarding the intersection since about 3 p.m. He said people have been waiting and getting impatient.

Ayala said he has not received orders to reopen the road but said he expected it could open by tomorrow. He said water service in Ramona remains incomplete and people can't return until it is fully restored.

Thirty-year Ramona resident Richard Lemire said he can't understand why residents of Rancho Bernardo, one of hardest hit areas by fire, are being allowed to return home while Ramona -- one of the most unscathed -- remains off-limits.

"We cooperated real well by evacuating and now we're getting really discouraged. It's obvious to everyone that Ramona is OK," Lemire said.

Many of those waiting have tried several different routes to get to Ramona -- each blocked by authorities.

With no restrooms available, many drove a few miles to a nearby Costco in Poway for food and bathroom breaks.

- Janine Zuniga

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even as an East Coaster, I understand restricting movement in the evacuated areas. If the fire turns back on its self with on shore winds, areas that were spared could suddenly be in harms away. Fire is so unpredictable. Also with the lack of water, it is unsanitary thus unhealthy to return to such an area. Patience and prayer need to be the order of the day to avoid any more human tragedy. As hard as it is to face, necessary material possessions can be replaced but human life is more precious. God Bless all of you and the guardian angels that watch over the firefighters and other emergency response staff.

familyjoool said...

Ramona, "unscathed"? Obviously Richard Lemire has not been there since Monday. Ramona is a disaster.
No power, no water in many areas. Homes burned, animals dead, no business open.