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Woman And Child Escape Los Gatos Home Destroyed In Mudslide

LOS GATOS (KPIX 5) -- A woman and her child narrowly escaped their home as a mudslide came down on their house.

This winter is proving too much, even for people who pride themselves on a rugged lifestyle. The latest mudslide has cut off a family in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Mud has destroyed their house, which is tucked away in a rural area near Los Gatos.

Practically every road in the Santa Cruz Mountains is in bad shape at the moment. Many are closed, and those that aren't are just barely passable.

And on a remote lane, deep in a canyon off Bear Creek Road, is homeowner Brian Ward. He is helping to clear a mudslide, not so he can get out, but to get help in.

Ward said, "We're used to the mountain life, but how can you get used to something like this?"

On Tuesday morning, Ward's pregnant wife scooped up their 9-month-old daughter and ran for their lives when the mountain let loose above.

Trees, boulders mud and water came crashing down, knocking the house off its foundation.

"Thankfully her instinct was to just jump out of bed, grab my daughter and run out of the house barefoot and everything," Ward said.

No one was hurt, but the house is ruined and their property is scattered for 200 yards.

A vintage VW Bug surfed the debris flow until it crashed into a neighbor's trailer.

Mike Warren, Ward's brother in law, said, "The slide came down, took down that tree and here's his motorcycle.  He was just working on the motorcycle when it all came down."

The soil that's all around here, all came down in the slide. But it's so saturated, it's liquefied. It's like quicksand.

And even the heavy equipment and four wheel drive vehicles, can't get through.

"You basically go to sleep just praying for the rain to stop," Ward said.

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