A community is trying to get back on their feet following a severe power outage due to extreme weather.
“(The wind) ended up hurting my brother-in-law’s mobile home,” said Jane, a Salton Sea Beach resident. “(It) set (the home) on fire and burnt it to the ground. They lost all their clothes, all their medicine, everything. Then they get to our house thinking they’re going to be safe. Then what happens? The power goes out!”
Some families were without power for nearly a week after gusty winds downed 76 IID power poles in the region on Feb. 21. IID announced via twitter on Feb. 28 that all power was restored to the remaining Salton Sea area – the last area to receive complete restoration. But by then, the damage was already done.
“I have other friends that were 6 days without power and that was really hard. They lost all their food,” said Jane.
“It was difficult. There was a lot of aid being given (including from) The Red Cross, but it still was a little bit too late,” said Eboni Strater, a Salton City Beach resident.
FIND Food Bank was on the ground distributing food to families in the area – something the organization does regularly, but was needed now more than ever.
“I’ve been coming to the FIND Food Bank for a while and it helps a lot for those of us that try to make ends meet. We live out here because we don’t make high-income. I’m a disabled Veteran and so this is one of the areas that I can actually afford to live in, but we still need help,” said Strater.
Hundreds of cars lined the streets outside of West Shore High School in Salton City. New and familiar faces were greeted with smiles and even some dancing as their trunks were loaded up with disaster relief boxes filled with fresh produce and other non-perishable goods.
“There’s people, real people, real lives, impacted out here. And this is one of those areas that’s a food desert,” said Thomas Tarr, Director of Development and Community Relations for FIND Food Bank. “A food desert is where there’s no grocery store or fresh produce available within 2 miles, so this distribution, folks really rely on it.”