'It's just a house, an old one'
Among the new arrivals at the Red Cross emergency shelter in the gym at San Marcos High School in Goleta, north of Santa Barbara, was Blanche Tobin, 67.
Tobin is a volunteer Red Cross worker, but this morning she was among the 125 people needing comfort.
"I was able to grab some family photos and a couple of pictures of my grandmother," she said, sitting forlornly on a metal folding chair, fidgeting with her keys and fighting back tears.
"A neighbor called to say my house is gone. It's just a house, an old one.
"We had it 44 years. I can't stop thinking about my grandmother's cherry wood bedroom set. It was such a lovely set."
She seemed to be in shock; she could not even remember what she was watching on television when she evacuated on Thursday evening.
-- Louis Sagahun in Goleta