weathering the weather

Update, Saturday, 18 February

Thanks so much for everyone who has written or tried to call. I am having trouble keeping up with all the emails so I have written this up for now.

We had the worst day of storms yet yesterday (Friday), pouring rain and winds up to 87 mph. Several trees have fallen on the property, including one large cypress in front of the church blocking our driveway. Our maintenance crew was on it right away and had it cut up and out of the way by 4 PM.

Highway One at this point is totally impassable to the north and south of us. We don’t know what else is going on north but there are at least three slides between us and Nacimiento Ferguson Road (5 miles south of here). And Nacimineto Ferguson, the one road that the county usually keeps clear for escape from the coast, is also closed until next Tuesday due to “life safety issues”; so we are told is also Fort Hunter Ligget itself. I had to go to San Luis Obispo Tuesday and Wednesday for Fr. Ray’s funeral and just barely made it home Thursday in a little window of time when they had opened one lane, just as the next wave of storms was hitting. Our driveway is holding up, again thanks to our maintenance crew applying patches, but two spots are very fragile, and it is clear that we will need to do extensive repair work once things dry up. At this point it is still drive-able but we have cars at the foot of the hill and on the other side of the slide to the south of us just in case.

We only have one working phone line at this point, and it is very difficult to call in. At this point our Internet is still up (miracle of miracles, thanks be to God!), and we have plenty of food and fuel. Hopefully this wave of storms will end by Wednesday and we can assess the damage and steps forward. We are all well, and the brothers have just been riding it out in their usual peaceful way. We are having our liturgies in the Chapter room to conserve on propane heat, and it is very sweet and intimate. (We are also watching a few more movies in the Rec Room to take our minds off of the weather.)

Today the rains and wind stopped in early afternoon and we even had a peek of sunshine. Two of our staff tried to get past the first slide today. One guy turned around and came right back. The other, on a motorcycle, has not returned. We hope that’s good news, like sending a dove off of Noah’s ark!

Thanks for your concern and prayers for us. We’re keeping in mind all those who are affected by the storm on the coast, especially those stranded without housing or food in these days, and holding your intentions with our own.


P.S. Fr. Robert, Rich and Brendon have all been posting photos on Facebook.

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  1. Thanks so much for the update. Our prayers are always with you, now and in the challenging days to come. Let us know when you know how we can help.

    Warm regards.

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  2. Thank you for the update, Father Prior! Every day, especially with the increasing severity of the storms, I and I’m sure countless others are praying for you. Santa Lucia, Saints Benedict and Scholastica, Saint Romuald, pray for us!

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