Red Cross opens shelter in Ridgecrest, elected officials survey damage

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Red Cross opens shelter in Ridgecrest, elected officials survey damageThe American Red Cross opened a shelter July 5 at the Kerr McGee Center in Ridgecrest to provide emergency shelter to those effected by the residents displaced by the 6.4-magnitude earthquake, as well as foreshocks and aftershocks, that shook the Indian Wells and Searles valleys July 4.

“Red Cross volunteers are providing comfort and care to those who have been affected,” said a Red Cross spokesperson. “Comfort and care can take many different shapes and sizes — it’s as simple as being able to provide safe shelter, warm meals and emotional support. The Red Cross shelter will remain open as long as it is needed to assist families affected by the earthquake who need a safe place to stay, have a meal and shower and a shoulder to lean on.”

The Ridgecrest Police Department, assisted by other regional agencies, have been patrolling neighborhoods to assist residents affected by the event. (See related post, below, as well as the RPD Page on Facebook for additional information).

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, after evacuating patients on July 4, has been slowly reopening services for those seeking emergency care (see also RRH FB page).

“We have reached out to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital to offer assistance and we stand ready to help however we can,” said Jeff Lingerfelt, president of Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley hospital.

“Our hearts and prayers are with our neighbors in Ridgecrest, who are facing a terrible disaster.”

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, State Sen. Republican Leader Shannon Grove and Assemblyman Vince Fong flew into Ridgecrest Friday afternoon to tour the community in order to survey the damage and help coordinate relief and recovery related services.

“This afternoon in Ridgecrest, I met with local officials and first responders to discuss post-earthquake efforts and tour some of the damage firsthand,” said McCarthy.

“Kern County is strong!”

Grove announced that she will open her offices in Bakersfield and Ridgecrest offices this weekends to assist affected families and business owners.

“Providing up-to-date information to our residents during this critical time is of paramount importance,” said Grove. “I’ve been monitoring and receiving updates from the Office of Emergency Services and from local elected leaders on the situation. It is imperative that we relay the information to constituents of California’s 16th Senate District and help connect them to mutual aid that is available from local, state, and federal agencies.”

Grove will have representatives of her staff on hand at Continental Labor Resources, located at 509 W. Ward Ave., on Saturday and Sunday, July 6-7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Today we saw first-hand the resilience of the Ridgecrest community,” said Fong.

“There certainly is anxiety amongst our neighbors and friends as we brace for possible aftershocks and uncertainty, but we stand united on all levels to be with the Indian Wells Valley.

“Today we engaged in conversations that assist and help the community move forward. We cannot thank our first responders locally and across California who came to our aid. If there is any assistance our office can provide — do not hesitate to reach out.”

The epicenter of the 6.4 earthquake, which occurred at 10:33 a.m. on Thursday, was in Searles Valley, about 11 miles away from Ridgecrest. It was also preceded by a foreshock at 10 a.m. of approximately 4.0 magnitude. More than 1,000 aftershocks have followed, with the largest registering 5.4 and occurring just before dawn on July 5. Many others have registered above 4.0.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the main event was the largest earthquake in Southern California in more than 20 years. It is the largest in the local region in about 30 years.

For additional information see https://earthquake.usgs.gov/…/eventpage/ci38443719/executive.

Pictured: Elected officials, including Kevin McCarthy, Shannon Grove, Vince Fong and Mick Gleason, toured Ridgecrest on Friday to survey damage sustained during the recent quake. Also on hand were first responders and officials from the city of Ridgecrest, Kern County and China Lake — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2019-07-05