Long Valley residents regroup after white wave slams into home
Five residents of the home in Long Valley that was hit by a wall of snow on Sunday, January 22, kept their cool and were able to get out safely. All five, including 2-month-old Isabel Villa, are currently unable to return home and are figuring out what to do next.
The Villa family—Tina, Russel, and baby Isabel (as well as Tucker, their Schnauzer) recently returned from a stay in Ventura, because Isabel, born in November 2016, had trouble breathing at high altitude. She spent the first week of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit in Loma Linda. “Well this baby… now has another notch in her belt,” wrote Tina Villa on a GoFundMe page set up for the family.
Tina Villa told The Sheet that Russel and Kevin Lemar, Tina’s visiting brother, had been shoveling snow most of the day on Sunday. The Villas live on the second floor of the home, whic is shared by Dan Corning and Heidi Vetter (and dog Stanley)on the first floor.
Tina was holding Isabel in her room when, at around 9 p.m., she heard a deep rumble. Her first thought was that it must be an earthquake. “We had maybe two seconds to move before it hit,” Tina wrote. “I jumped off the bed and ducked behind it. Bam!”
She told The Sheet, “It sounded like another house hit our house.”
The snow burst through the glass doors near the kitchen, glass shot everywhere. “The mountain came down,” Tina Villa wrote. “My living room and kitchen are now a snowdrift.”
Corning, of Mountaindog Woodworking, said he and Vetter heard a small rumble, then “a freight train hit the house.” He said it was a massive adrenaline rush and the crashing sound filled the house, and just as quickly it was silenced. He suggested that the avalanche had jumped the road cut.
The roads have now been opened in the area following considerable avalanche danger that barred Mono County crews from plowing the road, but the propane tanks for the home shared by the couples have not been dug out yet. As of press time, it was unknown if the Mono County Sheriff’s Office would allow the residents to return to their home