SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – If long-time residents of the small communities nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains were suffering from a frightening case of déjà vu Friday, who could blame them.
Forecasters predicted more than a foot of rain could fall in the mountains over the next seven days with the Sunday’s storm being the most potent. The forecast comes on the anniversary of the killer 1982 storms that left 14 residents dead and nearly 100 homes destroyed in a series of mudslides triggered by torrential rains.
Particularly hard hit was the Love Creek area near Ben Lomond. Ten residents would die in a massive slide including the McCluskey family. The bodies of the parents – John and Lynda – were recovered, but the remains of their little boys — Trevor and Kelly — were never found.
As in 1982, a professional football team was in the playoffs. The rains began in earnest just after halftime of the San Francisco 49ers-New York Giants playoff game. The pounding deluge would not let up for several days.
On Saturday, the Oakland Raiders will take on the Houston Texans in an AFC Wildcard game. While the 49ers game was in San Francisco, the Raiders contest will be played in Houston.
On the National Weather Service Monterey’s Facebook Page several residents and former residents shared their memories.
Elaine Mckay posted: “I remember. My brother was living in Boulder Creek in the woods. His neighbor was asleep when the mudslide took her and cabin down. Tragic and very real.”
Rafael DeSoto was living in nearby Felton and recalled it like many as a “biblical rain.”
“I lived in Felton at the time,” he posted. “It was biblical rain. Massive redwood trees uprooted flowing down the river burl first, hitting bridges at such a clip you could feel the vibration. I don’t think anything will quite match that 100-year storm.”
Clark Stone’s thoughts turned to the Love Creek victims.
“I remember that as my first winter in Northern California,” he posted. “And many of the Love Creek victims were never recovered.”
Others victims and tragedies that befell the region during the storm were remembered.
“I remember it well as my classmate Billy Velez was killed that day in the mudslide that hit Pacifica,” posted Tiffany Trevers. “A reminder to take these storm forecasts pretty seriously if you live by the hills. He and his two sisters perished.”