Monday, October 29, 2007

Groups helping Barrett Lake residents

Posted @ 4:52 PM

DULZURA … On Barrett Lake Road in Dulzura, residents whose mobile homes survived the Harris fire were receiving help Monday from the Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and various church groups, including Crosspointe Life Church in La Mesa.

"We have a list of places, and we're going through the list and getting people cleaning supplies, gloves, masks," said Barry Sappington, lead pastor at the church. "We're here to do what we can."

Yvette Montes, manager of the Barrett Lake Mobile Home Park, which was filled with charred trees, trucks and trailers, said they were hoping for a generator to get power to the 33 of 83 mobile homes that were not destroyed.

"With no power, there's no way to run the wells," Montes said. "We have a lot of seniors. Some have been here for 20, 25 years. We need a generator."

Montes said many of the residents can't afford a home, but most are hardworking families.

"We're a community. Everybody knows everybody and takes care of everybody," Montes said.

Robert Solorzano and his family crossed the border at Tecate for the first time since it was reopened earlier today to check on his trailer, which survived.

"We didn't know it was saved until yesterday, but we didn't see it until today," said his wife, Evelia Solorzano. "We were happy to see it."

Most of the residents in the area are still without power. Most have had to throw away everything in their refrigerators and freezers.

Mantha Carter, 76, said she keeps running out of ice, and finally had to get rid of some raw chicken she had tried to save.

"Without electricity, we've used flashlights and candles, and we go to bed early," Carter said.

Many displaced residents were given five-day vouchers for hotels around the county, but many expire Tuesday. Montes said the vouchers were being extended, but residents had to call Campesinos Unidos at (858) 278-0128.

FEMA officials urged residents to apply for aid regardless of whether their property was burned. Nancy Weikel Dae with FEMA said most mobile home park residents are not insured, so FEMA could help them.
- Janine Zuniga

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