Dee Dee Bridges lost her 3,300-square-foot home in the Fountaingrove neighborhood when fires swept through two weeks ago, and she’s ready to start work on a new home.
“At my age, I am not about waiting,” said Bridges, 70, a retired teacher and former leader of the local League of Women Voters. “We will build it stronger than ever.”
But for Bridges and thousands of others who lost their homes in the wine country firestorms, it remains unclear when they begin rebuilding. Officials are still trying to determine the health hazard in the devastated neighborhoods, and there is some debate about how the government will perform the cleanup needed before new construction can begin.
Questions about how long the cleanup will take has added a note of anxiety to the “#SonomaStrong” and “Rebuild!” monikers that have become ubiquitous as the community tries to turn the page on the tragedy. Santa Rosa alone lost 5% of its housing in California’s most destructive wildfire, and some residents have questioned whether they will be able to afford to stay in a region known for its tight housing market and high prices.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.