Re: What was it like inside home during '89 quake?

03/28/14 - posted by Jimmy

I was living down on the Peninsula at the time. I had left work early to catch Game 1 of the World Series (Giants vs As, 1st game at The Stick) at home. Just as I was about to turn off of El Camino I had a sensation of being pushed out into the intersection. I glowered at my rear view mirror expecting to see a drunken idiot in a monster truck giving me the shove - I saw a granny in an old Buick. It then dawned on me what was up. The lamp posts were whipping around like old style automobile radio antennas. Glass was popping out of store windows. I could see the actual S-waves rolling along the Earth's surface. Simultaneously the traffic light went out and the radio station I had tuned in for pregame went off the air. Once the shaking subsided a bit traffic started to flow gingerly. I turned onto my street and into the parking lot of my apartment building. Water from the pool was flowing down the walk ways. The radio came back on line on auxiliary. I sat transfixed in my car listening. It was already known that the Bay Bridge had the fallen slab from the upper deck. Heavy smoke rising from multiple places in the Marina. The Cypress Freeway collapsed.

Finally got out of the car and went upstairs to my place. Not too bad. An acoustic guitar I had leaned up against the wall had fallen over (thankfully there was carpet). A few pictures on the wall slightly off center. No other issues. But to power was off at my place for over a day. I eventually went to a relative's house in an area with underground power lines and spent the night. No power problem there.

The worst thing was the time between the quake and the reopening of the Bay Bridge. All the displaced traffic went to the San Mateo and Richmond-San Rafael/GG Bridge combo. And of course from there a domino effect to the other crossings (including, so I heard, even 237 down in the South Bay!). There was grid lock every day. I went mostly carless for my work commutes.

One good thing. Rents in the City came down. A few months after the quake I moved back into the City at a decent rent.

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