It was 23 years ago today, on Oct. 17, 1989, that the devastating 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta eartquake ripped through the Bay Area, killing more than 60 people, injuring thousands and leaving thousands more homeless.
We asked on the Napa Valley Patch Facebook page, "Where were you?" Here are some of the responses we received:
- Jillian Risko I lived in Weaverville so I didnt feel it. But my best friend Desiree Helm her dad was Buck Helm, the man that was stuck in the collapsed overpass for 4 days!
- Lisa Domezio At home, about to watch the baseball game. I couldn't figure out why the TV went to snow until I turned around and saw the house moving. I was 11!
- Tanya Fairbanks I was sitting outside my house on the porch (I was 11 yrs old) and I was reading to the rocks, (yes, rocks) and the trees started to sway and I shook a little bit. I didn't know what it was.
- Carrie Elizabeth Carlin Candlestick park. It was a scary day for a kid. It did prevent me from being afraid of another earthquake after that. The rest feel like joy rides, in comparison. I was also 11.
- Jacqueline Turner I was working with an deaf/autistic boy named Michael Sugitan! He was signing to me minutes before the earthquake started: Let's go! Let's go! I will never forget that day! I was in utter terror!
- Melody Harris I was 4 yrs old living in Sonoma and I was jumping on a bed with this little boy from downstairs we didn't even realize anything had happened until my parents came running in to scoop us up. (I can't say I remember any of it but that's the story that's been told to me)
- Karen Bridewell About to leave my Aunt and Uncle's home on Arroyo Sarco in Napa after a gathering of family and friends after my Dad's funeral. Will never, ever forget!
- Sophia Habl Mitchell I was a senior in high school and at my parent's home in Napa, just getting ready to watch the World Series Game. I was in the kitchen. I remember the house swaying and the sound of chimes in the grandfather clock going crazy from clanging together. Kind of a creepy sound, actually.
- Ron E Titus Working in Taiwan, getting ready to watch the world series! Luckily for me, since the Cypress structure was where i would have been had i ot been in Taiwan!
- Sara Featherstone My mom was driving me to Napa Saints cheer practice...so in the car!
- James Curt Byrum I was getting ready for work on the Wine Train!
- Heidi Rutland i don't remember that sucks
- Kristina Dalton I was in the Alpha Beta grocery store (where Walmart now on Lincoln ave), my brother & I were playing with silly string that we hadn't yet paid for. I was 9.
- John Vasquez I was nine years old standing in the middle of a door frame.
- Jesus Hernandez On the Saint Helena High football field.
- Rob Haines Standing in the lobby at Cinedome. We all thought the chandelier was coming down.
- Amber Madison Smith Silverado Middle School getting ready for cheer leading practice for the Oilers.
- Jesse Hunt Sr. Third deck behind home plate...
- Crystal da Silva I was 9 years old playing in the fort my step sister and brother put together in the garage in Petaluma. My sis and I were telling our bro to stop pushing the fort but he wasn't doing it. It was the quake.
- Vanissa Struven Outside playing with the other kids, and I ran upstairs to our apartment cause I did not know what was going on. I was 10 at the time of the 89 quake.
- Joe Eaton I was crawling through my father's attic in Richmond (which was fifty years old), removing items so that PG&E so that they could install insullation. The whole attic started swaying back and forth dust and dirt falling on my back from the roof above me. I dove through the attic entrance and onto the floor by doing some sort of Batman inspired backflip and landing straight up (which I would not even TRY to reproduce today). My sister was very worried. She grabbed her 10 month old son Thomas and dove under a sturdy table, slamming his poor little head on the top as they slipped under. I told her "It was just a tremor Dianna. Don't worry about it." We turned on the TV - nothing but static on all channels. Eventually the TV got a signal. The first thing it showed was the Bay Bridge. My sister was worried sick for her husband, whom she knew was on his way home from SF, over that very bridge. Fortunately, he got over the bridge just before the quake hit. He as at the turn where Ikea is now. He told us when he got home that it felt like he had a flat tire. Then he realized everyone was stopping. It was NOT a good time.
- Karen Lynn Ingalls In a second floor apartment in Salinas, just home from work, thinking they would be digging me out of the rubble....
- Kellie Fuller I was at work on Clinton Street in Napa. It was a clothing store attached to a shoe store. We all ran to a doorway between the two stores and held on to each other so we wouldn't fall. The cars were bouncing up and down outside, we could see the road lifting, and the chandelier in the store was shaking. I thought the building was going to come down. Had to wait a long time before we could find out if our family members in SF were ok. VERY SCARY TIME! But thankfully, we were all fine. My great aunt lost her home in the SF fire though.
- Mary Loomis Ayers 22nd floor of Embacadero 3 in the Financial District.
- Michelle Lesko-Freese Red Cross building on Jefferson Street teaching a babysitting class to a room of 12 years old who wanted to stand in front of plate glass window and watch the street roll instead of getting under the tables!
- Bev Saxon Leonard I was on the 4th story of a building on Mission Street in San Francisco. It was very scary.
- Dani Forsey Brown Palby's Restaurant in American Canyon...I thought someone was kicking the back of my seat.
Where were you on Oct. 17, 1989? Tell us in the comments.