RIDGECREST — California Gov. Gavin Newsom took a tour of some of the impacted Ridgecrest businesses and residential areas hardest hit by the recent earthquakes on Saturday, including Trousdale Estates Mobile Home Park on West Ward Avenue.
His entourage included Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin and City Manager Ron Strand, as well as Kern County 1st District Supervisor Mick Gleason.
During the tour of Trousdale, Newsom inspected some of the buildings, some of which were either partially or completely knocked from their perches or destroyed.
The park was quiet, though three people were holding down the fort while other residents were elsewhere. Residents James Combs and Lori Churchill sat under a pair of shade structures along with Michelle Hewitt, who was visiting from out of town.
Newsom inquired about the condition of the mobile home park, the morale of its residents and stopped to take selfies or photo ops with the trio.
Combs said that Trousdale “is a peaceful community” and commended the actions of the Ridgecrest Police Department.
The group also remarked that it is was fortunate that the earthquakes didn’t do as much damage as they might have in a place like Los Angeles.
McLaughlin noted that residents are always welcome to make use of the Kerr McGee Center, which has been set up as an evacuation site where people can get food, water, and a place to rest and stay cool until everything calms down.
Combs, who has lived in Trousdale for two years, said his mobile home had sustained damage but wasn’t red-tagged.
“I’m sleeping in my car outside of it at the moment,” he said after the gubernatorial delegation left.
He also said he hadn’t expected the governor’s visit.
“Suppose it’s no offense but I didn’t vote for him,” Combs said. “But I’ve never met anyone of that importance. It was kind of fun and I at least can say I met a governor and took a selfie.”
He said that some good could come from Newsom’s visit to Ridgecrest and Trona after the earthquakes since the governor could see firsthand the devastation.
‘It’s really a shame though that it has to be devastated for something to happen,” Combs said.
Originally a resident of Salinas, Combs moved to Ridgecrest to help family.
“I liked it so much and I found my trailer here,” he said. “It’s a good community."