Wednesday, October 24, 2007
My eyes are burning
Covering natural disasters is grueling work. This one has been among the hardest because of the constant exposure to smoke. My eyes are burning and my throat is sore after three days of covering the fires. If you've ever been to a smoky bar for an extended period of time, you know the feeling.

Meanwhile, I just took a shower and yet there is still a film of dirt on my face. Yet I have no worries compared to what thousands of people in San Diego are experiencing. I can't imagine not knowing if my home was still standing.

I've also been thinking about the few homes that are still standing among the rows of destroyed houses. While those homeowners are fortunate, who would want to live amid such devastation? It would seem so depressing. Even if those homeowners would want to move, who would buy that house? I'd be interested to talk to some of those folks. What will they do?

-- By Dan Simon, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 8:00 AM ET
  3 Comments
My mom's house was one of the few left standing in her neighborhood after the Cedar fire. 7 of her immediate neighbor's homes had been burned to the ground. Everything in her yard burned and the stuff in the shed melted!

While the fire did not burn her house down, she was happy to go home, although she said it looked like a moonscape. She had to wait until they restored her electricity and phones, due to a lung problem.

It was a mixed bag to go home. All our family photos (going back nearly a hundred years), all the souvenirs from various travel, wedding gifts, things that had been in the family for generations, were still there.

But they were all covered with soot, everything had to be cleaned, from carpeting to ceiling. The shingles on the roof had cupped from the heat and the roof had to be replaced. The exterior paint was scorched so the home had to be repainted. The yard had to be relandscaped. Every glass, fork, spoon, dish, had to be washed. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING had a stinky, sticky black smoke residue on it. When she died a year later, I had to wash and clean all the things she was too old/sick to wash.

I think the damage to the interior because of smoke overwhelmed her and caused depression. People need to be prepared that even if their home is left, they still will have much to do, as the heat itself might have caused damage.

But the ones whose homes have burned down...they will get trailers (probably) and move onto their lots, and start rebuilding. The neighbors will be back! The neighborhoods will be bustling with activity, some of the homes will be much nicer than they were. There will be workman, contractors, adjusters, etc. and the place will be bustling.

So those neighborhoods will be revived and 5th wheel trailer sales will probably jump, because people will want to be on their property to protect the building supplies while they rebuild.

The neighborhoods that are bleak and abandoned now will come back to life, even if there's only one or two homes left. Take it from someone who saw it all happen after the Cedar Fire in 2003.
Posted By Anonymous : 2:23 PM ET
They'll rebuild and stay. The houses that didn't burn will have to be cleaned and I'm sure some damage from the heat, smoke, and ash repaired. But like after Katrina these people too will draw on their inner resources and build again. You think when you watch it on tv that you couldn't cope with a tragedy like this wildfire but when it comes right down to it, people do what they have to - put one foot in front of another and keep on living. These people will too - and the neighborhoods will be back.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Annie Kate : 10:57 PM ET
The clean up won't be fun but to call the neighborhoods depressing is an insult. San Diego is beautiful and will be again. God help you if you ever suffer anything with your outlook on life. What exactly would you do, just curl up and cry!
Posted By Anonymous : 12:56 PM ET
ABOUT THE BLOG
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.



ARCHIVES
• 01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006
• 02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006
• 02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006
• 02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006
• 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006
• 03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006
• 03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006
• 03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006
• 03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006
• 04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006
• 04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006
• 04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006
• 04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006
• 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006
• 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006
• 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
• 05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006
• 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006
• 06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006
• 06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006
• 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006
• 06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006
• 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006
• 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006
• 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006
• 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007

SUBSCRIBE
    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.