SAUSALITO (CBS SF/CBS News) — Susan Gordon has become thankful for the small things in life after she survived her picturesque home’s terrifying tumble down a Sausalito hillside.
Still nursing her bumps and bruises, Gordon talked exclusively with CBS News about her wild ride as a fierce winter rainstorm with winds topping 60 mph ripped through the Bay Area early Thursday morning.
It was about 3 a.m. when Gordon said her cat awoke her. Moments later, her world literally turned upside down.
“I was sort of tossing because my cat usually wakes me up about that time or jumps in bed with me and then all of a sudden there was this cracking sound,” she said. “And then — then I was tumbling down and things were tumbling all over me, on top of me and it didn’t last very long at least while it was happening.”
Once she came to rest, Gordon discovered she was trapped amid the wreckage as her duplex slammed into a neighbor’s home.
“It stopped and I was trapped,” she told CBS News Mola Lenghi. “I had trees on top of me. I had beams on top of me and I and I thought I gotta get out of here and I couldn’t move anything off because it was too heavy.”
Eventually, she was rescued by firefighters after a neighbor came to her aid.
“They said you’re in good shape,” Gordon said the first responders who treated her at the scene. “It’s unbelievable that you’re alive. It’s unbelievable.”
On Friday, work crews from a San Rafael-based engineering contractor began clearing debris from the area of the destructive mudslide. The mudslide on Sausalito Boulevard destroyed two homes, damaged four other homes and five vehicles, according to City of Sausalito officials. Six structures were red tagged as being unsafe.
The slide originated just before 3 a.m. above Sausalito Boulevard on land belonging to the National Park Service. It carried a duplex at 404/408 Sausalito Blvd. across the roadway and into a house at 63 Crescent Ave.
Gordon — who lived on the second floor — was trapped for 20 minutes before she was extricated. She was taken to Marin General Hospital, treated for injuries and released.
Four adults, a baby, a cat and a dog were rescued from a home at 412 Sausalito Ave. Eighty public safety personnel were at the scene for several hours searching for anyone else trapped in the debris.
The National Weather Service said the Sausalito area received more than five inches of rain in the 24 hours before the mudslide.