Business of 28 Years Destroyed by Landslide (More Photos and Video from the Scene)

For 28 years, John Shwartz operated R & R Auto Machine & Radiator, in Southern Humboldt. Other businesses rented space in his building. He was supporting himself and his family and providing a service to the community. Then at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 9, his business and that of his tenants were destroyed by a landslide. (See video above and photos below.)

Shwartz told KMUD News that while he doesn’t have insurance, it wouldn’t have covered a landslide anyway. (You can listen to the story below)

To help with cleanup efforts and possibly even with rebuilding costs, an account has been set up at the Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt (Acct # 18840) and with GoFundMe (to help out and see more images of the slide, click here.)

If anyone wants any free clean fill, there is plenty behind the shop. Please call (707) 923 7648 for more information.

Overhead view of the mudslide that destroyed businesses i

An overhead view of the mudslide that destroyed businesses in Redway. [Photo by Mikal Jakubal. See his documentary here.]

Heavy Equipment pushing K-rail into place

Heavy Equipment pushing K-rail into place hoping to keep the slide from impacting Redwood Drive the main thoroughfare through Redway [Photo by Kim Sallaway–see more of his work here]

Slide that buried business in Redway from the hill above

Slide that buried business in Redway from the hill above. [Photo by Kim Sallaway]

Thousands of dollars of equipment were tossed around by the slide.

Thousands of dollars of quads and other equipment were tossed around by the slide. [Photo by Kim Sallaway]

y the slide. [Photo by Kim Sallaway]

The mud pushed items from the back of the building through the rollup door, crumpling it. [Photo by Kim Sallaway]

Expensive equipment buried by the slide.

Expensive equipment buried by the slide. [Photo by Kim Sallaway]

Firefighters and law enforcement at emergency scene

Firefighters, (including Redway Chief Brian Anderson) and law enforcement at the slide scene [Photo by Kim Sallaway]

 Earlier Chapters:



  • I really appreciate it if you wouldn’t post drone pictures of my property, not only have I had my privacy invaded by this devastating event now it feels like a huge slap in the face. I have rights to privacy, I lost too..I feel very disrespected and pretty pissed off right now, Channel 3 news did a very tasteful story, that I appreciate.

    • Don’t take your anxiety out on Kym. She’s doing an amazing job of keeping our community up to date on all that happens.

      What did you loose?! A small piece of land with no buildings? I don’t see that your home is destroyed.

      Have some compassion for others! After all, this may end up being your fault. Is your drainage correct?

    • I’m really sorry that the news reporting of this terribly sad event is stressing you out; but consider what happened when Barbra Streisand tried to suppress photos of her big fancy house… but ended up calling more attention to it than it would otherwise have received.

      That whole fiasco led to the creation of a term, the “Streisand effect” which of course has it’s own entry on Wikipedia!

      I know it’s horrible to have the land go out under your house – truly have been there and in the middle of the winter, too. Please know that our hopes go out not only to the business man, but to you as well in these terribly stressful times.

    • Google earth shows you killing it last year, drone footage shows no justice, you’re a greedy grower…

    • File a lawsuit. That’s going to be the only way to dissuade the dishonest vultures.
      Seriously, contact an attorney and give them hell! They probably don’t have insurance either, lol. Go after their assets!!
      Good luck!

    • Lake County Not So Bad

      No, nada, zip, zero sympathy for greedy growers. Your failure to effectively manage the water on your land caused this slide. Any attorney, court and jury can clearly see the cause and effect. You’d be wise to sell immediately and R & R Auto would be wise to seek counsel.

      • Assume much? Get a clue, landslides happen all over, its called ground saturation. Its nature. We have clay soils and blue goo. Things move. If there was improper water runoff in the summer i think the owners of these shops would have noticed. Duh. Im sure that garden hose they used just did the hillside in. (Not) You dont seem to understand what water runoff issues even are.
        How do you know that person wasnt growing food? Guess what folks grow all kinds if things in hoop houses. So stfu.
        If you want to see real human influenced slides go check out one of the hundredz of clearcuts done years ago that are still dumping sediment into the river.
        Where were you when the true greedy jerks were here stealing our local timber company and destroying our timberlands????
        So much easier to blame a faceless group of folks for everything.

        • In the overhead drone photo, it’s evident that the hoops have been disassembled since the slide; they’re piled over to the side. The bags don’t look very large – they look less than 24″ in diameter – and they’re right up against each other. i.e. whatever plants were grown in them, if any, weren’t very large; i.e. no one seemed to be “killing it” on that hill.

          • When I was first shown the overhead picture: I thought it was a constructed-to-scale model and they had used “California Rolls” seaweed wrapped sticky rice filled with avocado rolls for the “grow bags”. I am not sure what “killing it” means? From what I have heard from friends, “if you can not make at least 2 or 3 pounds off of one bag/big plant, you are doing something wrong.” In my count of the “California rolls” there are about 150 and this should yield between 300 and 450 pounds. In my estimation after expenses of lets just say 500 a pound and the finished product is sold for a total of 1000 per pound…. Profit looks to be around $200,000.00. Is this correct and again what is “killing it”? In my book $200k a year income is not to bad, and maybe the cost is less than 500 per pound to make the stuff? and maybe it sells for more than 1000 per pound?

            • Firstly, we don’t know what was grown in those bags, weed or whatever. So, it’s all an assumption.

              Grow bag/root pouch size determines plant size. Less room for roots, smaller plants. If weed was grown there, your numbers don’t jibe with the size of the bags shown in the photo. Compare the width of the pickup with the bags in front of it, for scale. Plus, they’re spaced so closely together, the plants don’t have room to expand outward, hence small canopy size, hence smaller plants. Not likely these pulled a pound a piece, if it was weed. If they got 50lbs, it was a good harvest. Could be incorrect (and it might not even have been weed anyway), however that’s what I’m seeing based on that photo.

              “Killing it” might be a couple hundred plants yielding a few/several lbs per plant. That hill ain’t killin’ it, if it was weed up there. Anyway, it is their business whatever they’re growing, not ours, and it’s very unlikely that show had anything to do with the slide.

    • Hard to take anonymous guest seriously. IF you ARE growing, (and I have no reason to believe you are) probably don’t really want to take them to court.

    • Hard as it is, accept that you have been pants’d in front of a crowd and save your energy for the cleanup and all the activity around your place in the coming months.

      Remember, you’re in Redway – not Red Bluff! That garden is one of hundreds withing spitting distance. Dazey’s moves more dirt than that slide on a busy weekend!

      Justified or not, few people are really going to care about some tarp-wrangler’s privacy when a blue-collar non-weed business owner got completely wrecked. ‘That’s just the way it is…’

      The last thing you want to hear right now is to look on the bright side but consider;

      Nature makes a mess, but she works cheap and quick: the expanded view and increased solar exposure makes your property even more valuable – with the way Humboldt real estate speculation is these days, you might be able to cash out for something more private. The shop below you is obliterated, but that commercially-zoned lot will probably get snatched up for high dollar as a future extraction facility, amendment-yard, etc…

      Still stressful and a ton of hassle – I hope you can save your buildings and shore up your flat. Good luck!

    • [edit] guess what else?

      Redway stinks of weed!

      We are talking about a man’s business, destroyed…

      Thank you!

  • Wow! I’m so glad everyone is ok. Material things are replaceable. People are not.

    Be safe everyone!

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Do they know if that garden caused it?

  • Yup, got anything else to say to me [edit]? Does it sucks to be me? You don’t even know me. Is that all you do is comment on every story put out there? Gazoo

    • Pretty much…

      • Honeydew Bridge Chump

        He’ll always remember that this happened the same day Oroville Dam broke.

        It’s supposed to fail within the hour.

        • Stop dramatizing everything please!! The overflow spillway is breaking not the entire dam. They should have been releasing small amounts sooner

          • Yep, yep and yep.

            “There was never any danger of the dam collapsing. The problem was with the spillways, which are safety valves designed to release water in a controlled fashion, preventing water from topping over the wall of the colossal dam that retains Lake Oroville.”

  • All I can say is that the waterboard wants folks to clean up their patches once done for he season, cover your soil with hay or tarps, don’t leave netting/ trellasing nets laying around otherwise you might get criminal charges if you catch wildlife in it, happened to someone I know…
    Because you never know who is flying a drone or see your unclean operation, but most of all to be clean and for natures sake if not your own, you had a couple days already you could have cleaned up your outdoor patch a bit,..
    Get on it humboldt! Pay it forward!

  • Can’t believe the owner or businesses didn’t have insurance.. Are you fucking kidding me? Is everyone stoned out of their brains down there? Feel sorry for the clients who’s assets were ruined, good luck getting them replaced other than at your own expense.

  • Come on now, count the grow bags. Looks like they are within reason with less then 200 plants, they ain’t killing nothing just surviving. Seriously doubt the land owner is responsible for this slide. The hoopers are all in-between buildings besides that, haven’t we had just a lil bit of rain? Any normal person understands mother nature is to blame here, nothing more or less.

  • So sorry John. Ignore the trolls, if you can. Our hope is that the community gets after it and helps you rebuild. One hell of a mess. And I thought that I had problems with my Asian diaherrea.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    What are all the old tires for? There’s quite a collection of tires and bags of trash.

    Were there tires and trash stacked on the bank?

  • Wow dude looked at the neighbor above a casual 200 plant grow possible machinery work done above maybe they are at fault for this.

  • Thanks for the tips on how to help the poor business out! I’ll donate as soon as possible.

  • That sauce is boss

    Homie in video puts the dog in the car, but then doesn’t bother moving the car? Wtf! I mean I’m sure it was fine but I would have been getting my car and dog at least across the street!

  • 11 inches of rain expected in the feather river area during the next storm .

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