"It's terrible down here," he said Monday afternoon. "I know a couple of people who have lost everything."
His family has been luckier, he noted. Both his son and his daughter and their families were evacuated from their homes but returned to find everything intact. His brother was evacuated out of Rancho Bernardo, then out of Escondido, he said.
Shimansky was heading up a group working out of the Red Cross Headquarters in San Diego.
"We have seven shelters still open and nine service centers," he said. "We're doing a lot of feeding."
Shimansky said he expects to return Sunday, in time for the Town Council meeting Nov. 6, but could not make it back in time for his 7:30 a.m. coffee Friday, Nov. 2. He has held the informal coffees the first Friday of every month since January at Father Nature's on Prospect Avenue. Vice Mayor Candace Andersen said she will continue with the coffees next year when she is mayor, beginning with the first one Dec. 7.
"What's down here has to be done; it's really important," Shimansky said. "I've been working 12-15 hours a day."
He also traveled to help out with the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina two years ago.
--Dolores Fox Ciardelli