27 Years Ago…

I was 100 miles away, heading home and listening to the world series game. I’m at a red light and suddenly the broadcast stops with just static.

It comes back on and the announcer said “I think we just had an earthquake!

I didn’t think that much about it – you all might have blizzards, tornadoes and hurricanes; we have the occasional earthquake.

My parents were out of town traveling and I always headed first to their house to pick up the mail. I noticed water all on the side of the house and wondered if a pipe broke.

Then I realized that it was the water all sloshing out of the pool.

I got home, turned on the TV and then saw the extent of the damage. Most unforgettable for me besides seeing the car just drive off the collapsed section of the Bay Bridge – was seeing what was left of the Cypress Street Viaduct – part of the Nimitz freeway that went along the west side of Alameda and Oakland. It was a 2 story highway with one way traffic on each story.

I can remember driving on the upper story and the car bouncing a bit from all of the construction imperfections. There was a popular bumper sticker saying “Pray for me – I drive the Nimitz”.

To see a portion of that collapsed and some cars underneath were a foot or so high…

IIRC there were a lot of damage and fires in the Marina district from broken gas lines. The Marina district is actually a “man made” spot of land by the Bay – comprised of all the cleared rubble of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. That dirt will shift easily in an earthquake.

H/T to Comjam for reminding us today…



Filed under History, Uncategorized

5 responses to “27 Years Ago…

  1. elektriko@gmail.com

    Hi Bill When I click on “read more of this post” it opens for a moment than a phishing pop up comes up with a lot of redirects. Somebody got you. Darn it! Steve Dillin


  2. missbirdlegs

    I saw a post in the group saying the same thing. Was a little scared to click on today’s post, but I didn’t have any problems that I see…

  3. Bill Brandt

    Steve – missbirdlegs – that is strange. I have always put the insert read more tag so as to not clutter up the screen – but I took it out. I clicked on “read more” and it seemed to act normally.

  4. NaCly Dog

    My ship was just offshore San Francisco in 1989. We got all the Goodyear blimp TV feeds the rest of the country could not. We saw a dark city with tiny red dots for the Marina District fires.

    We came in the next day. Not much damage could be seen with the 30 power Big Eyes. Our pier in Oakland had some wide cracks around my car, and we were directly in line with the Nimitz Freeway collapse and the span of the Bay Bridge that was knocked down.

    I was glad martial law was not declared, and we could just listen to the stories. Everyone was a very polite driver for the next three days. And I heard “The earth moved for us” stories for a month.

    My favorite story is the woman frantically digging in the rubble of her Marina District apartment. Even the cameraman asked if she needed help.
    “I’ve got to find it, got to!” She was asked “A child, a pet?” “No, it’s a picture of me and Joe Montana in a bar booth.”

    • Bill Brandt

      Now that’s a woman who is a 49ers fan! If you’re ever in the area north of San Francisco try to take a nice hike to point Reyes. It’s only a mile or so to the coast and they show a fence that was affected by the 1906 earthquake. One side of the fence is literally about 20 feet from the other side

      And of course we’re still waiting for the “big one” expected for the last 50 years along the San Andreas Fault. Mother nature and the earth has patience.

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