Los Gatos woman uses Facebook Live to get help after mudslide destroys home, vehicles

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Three generations of a Los Gatos-area family can thank social media for getting help when a large mudslide damaged a house and vehicles while they were still in bed. (KGO-TV)

Three generations of a Los Gatos-area family can thank social media for getting help when a large mudslide damaged a house and vehicles while they were still in bed.

The area is so remote, there's no cell service, but they got word out about their emergency with a satellite Internet connection.

"Some of the cars were getting washed away," Los Gatos resident Jennifer Ray said. "If someone can call Caltrain or whoever and send them up to our house.

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It was 6:45 a.m. and a mudslide had just knocked a house off its foundation and was threatening to do the same to two others. This area is so remote, there's no cell service, so Ray thought to use Facebook Live. "Everything's just being destroyed," she said.

Jennifer and John Ray's biggest concern was the welfare of Jessica, Jennifer's pregnant sister who lived in the house the mudslide moved. She was OK and friends did respond.

Their cars and trucks were immobilized by mud, but the danger wasn't over. "When all of a sudden new water started coming down, that's when we were like 'no we need to get out,"' Jennifer said.

The five-acre property is a family compound with three houses occupied by three generations. The mud wiped out much of it. "Close to 300 yards worth of road, hillside, a house, a shed, an entire play area with play structures and stuff for children, a truck, two cars, a camper," John said.

As he surveyed the damage John said: "Unbelievable. This is unbelievable. Oh, my God."

The two families are staying with relatives. Jennifer and John's kids, Nicholas and Aurora, appear unphased by the ordeal, but their parents now face an uncertain future.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up by a neighbor and Jennifer has a new respect for social media. "Thank God for Facebook because I wouldn't have been able to get hold of anybody. You know, it really was a lifesaver," she said.

Click here if you'd like to make a donation to help the family.

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Related Topics:
weatherfloodingrainwindstormsevere weatherstorm damagewinter stormmudslidefacebook livesocial mediaLos Gatos
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