Next door, Way's neighbors struggled to get out their house. The
earth had nearly barricaded the front door and they had to force it
Way and her neighbors jumped into a truck and attempted to drive
away, but the road was buckling beneath them and they had to abandon
the vehicle when an electrical pole crashed down and blocked the way.
Barefoot and wearing only a white bathrobe, Way took off on foot
and ran for her life.
"We had to run down the hill, that was the only way we could get
out," she said.
Hours later, standing safely on Bluebird Canyon Drive, wearing a
borrowed blue hooded sweatshirt and black athletic pants, Way looked
up at the hillside home where she has lived for eight years.
All that was there was a mess of busted wood and shattered glass.
"I got out safe, that's all I care about right now," Way said.
Up the street from where she was standing, the slide had shoveled
the earth against an older home on Bluebird Canyon Drive. The wooden
structure seemed almost alive, groaning and snapping under the
pressure. Periodically the sound of glass breaking inside the home
cut through the air like a scream. As the house continued to stir,
gas leaked from broken gas lines and mimicked the noise of a rushing
waterfall. The air filled with a nauseating smell.
Evacuating residents formed a steady line of cars slowly
navigating down the narrow street now packed with fire engines,
police cars, utility trucks and media crews. The residents' cars were
filled with dogs, birds, suitcases and anything else they could grab.
Occasionally, someone driving by would see a familiar face, lean out
the car window and offer them a place to stay.
One family, with suitcases already packed in the trunk of a car,
took in all the commotion.
Barbara and Jamie Templeton, and their daughter Wray Serna, said
they evacuated their home within a half-hour of hearing about the
"We tried to figure out what we absolutely need, the most
important stuff," Barbara said.
Similar to the description given by many residents, they heard a
loud crash when the land began to slide. They left their home when