Yarnell residents must wait longer to see what's left - New York News

Yarnell residents must wait longer to see what's left

Updated:
WICKENBURG, Ariz. -

Evacuated Yarnell residents were hoping to go home this weekend, but that won't be happening.

Saturday emergency management crews informed them that no date is set for when they can return.

Emotions were running high at Wickenburg High School. Most of the people had been there for a week.

A computer at the site allows them to look at aerial images of the Yarnell area to find out if their home is still standing. From those pictures, many of them learned that their home is gone.

"Me and my son built that house 28 years ago," said Gene Criner, who lost his home in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Criner's home is gone. His daughter Debbie Davis comes with him to every meeting.

"We want to be able to go in there and see the devastation and see what we have to do and we want to go through. Even though we know it's gone, we might be able to find something in there that means something to us," said Davis.

Davis and her dad respect what the Yarnell Fire Chief and emergency management services leader told them Saturday.

They can't go home until utilities are restored.

Residents constantly expressed their gratitude through the tragedy.

"It's terrible. It's 42 years of my life," said Jim Nagel.

Jim Nagel is also eager to see what's left of the home he lived in for 42 years. He learned his home was gone when he saw an image of it in a news publication. He raised his son Ethan in that house.

"Now we can see that we're moving into the phase of getting people back into town. I think for situations like my dad, his house is gone. We don't have insurance. Getting back into the town is only so we can see what's gone and what's the next step for us past that," said Ethan Nagel.

Before residents can return, crews must restore diminished water supply, replace  propane tanks and finish work on the power grid that's 75 percent restored.  it will take 1 to 2 more days to reach 100 percent.

Although no specific time has been given for when residents will be able to return home, they did learn Saturday that when they get there, the Salvation Army will be serving them hot meals at the Presbyterian church and emergency management services will place port-a-potties and dumpsters in their neighborhoods.

The fire chief will meet with evacuees again Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.

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