Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here's my personal report of the January 9, 2010 earthquake in Eureka, CA.
Saturday I was staffing Scottie Dog Quilts by myself because daughter Liz is visiting her sister in the Land of Snow & Ice (Minnesota). It was "Dialysis Day." Every year we open the classroom to sewers to help make quilts for our local Dialysis Unit patients. This project is a memorial to Michele, the daughter of quilter friend, Carolyn. Michele was on dialysis for a long time and it was her wish that every dialysis patient could have a quilt to snuggle under while undergoing treatment.

The store was quite busy but I did get a top done. I closed the shop at 4 pm and was working on the computer. At 4:27 I first heard a rattle and then felt it as the wide computer monitor began to jiggle and then the big laser printer nearly jumped off the table. I pushed it back and the monitor as well as the floor was rolling and bucking, shaking back and forth. Dimly I was aware of noises in the background...After about 30 seconds (which seems like an eternity during an earthquake) it came to me...."If I'm worried about the equipment falling off the table I'd better get myself to a doorway." Duh! So I bolted to the doorway between the classroom and the sales floor. By now the power is off and I can hear car alarms going off. We have a power backup for the computer we use as a cash register and back-up emergency lights in the classroom, so I could see. Bolts of fabric all over the floor. Spools of thread all over the floor. Books, batts, fat quarter towers strewn around. An iron fell over and there was a puddle of water on the ironing board. I tried to call on my cell phone but it didn't work at all. Neither did the land line. Didn't seem to be any damage but I could hear yelling outside so I ventured out the door.

There was a lady in a pink bathrobe (and I suspected nothing else!) standing near the store's backdoor yelling to the lady across the street. We could hear sirens off in the distance and cars were parking all along the street. I saw that I couldn't help any body I returned back to the store, packed up the cash drawer, tried the cell phone again: no service. Called home on the land line and got a busy signal and then Mr. Scottie Dog called me. Everything was fine at home and I told him I'd be home soon.

Here's a picture of Eureka Natural Foods after the Quake.

I locked up and drove down the street. There were fire trucks every few blocks because power lines were down. The paper reports several traffic lights were knocked down.
At home I felt guilty...we had power...lights, TV, Internet, we could cook on our electric stove. My neighborhood was dark. 28,000 customers were out of power.
Here's a house on California St. that was knocked off it's foundation and dropped into the crawl space.
Water mains burst, gas lines were severed, many, many windows were broken both in homes and businesses. Scottie Dog Quilts had a lot of fabric bolts on the floor, a couple of Tuttos fell, spools of thread and books on the floor but God was watching because not a bit of actual damage.

Here in Old Town a building has lost bricks from it's side wall and roof.
The Mall is closed for several of the ceiling fell and floor tiles popped up (this is a problem even when we don't have earthquakes!) and the fire sprinklers went off. Monday they will allow business owners back in and the Mall will re-open sometime next week. There were a few blocks downtown that were blocked off due to unsafe buildings. Generally not as much damage as you would expect and only minor injuries. Many of
my friends lost windows and crockery, TV's, etc. I'm surprised how many. But things can be replaced...loved ones can't. My heart is warmed when I hear of neighbors comforting neighbors, friends helping out and people opening their homes to those in need. We'll be back to normal soon!


Kelly Ann said...

Brenda glad to hear that y'all made it through safe and sound.

Bonnie said...

We were really spared as well. I only had one empty canning jar break. A few pictures fell over, but nothing broken. It is amazing that there wasn't more damage. God was watching over us!

BevH said...

Thanks for the pics! The middle one of the house on CA St was in our local paper up here in Eugene. So glad you were ok. How frightening to be in the store all alone when it hit. One of the good things about a quilt shop over a food store: most of the inventory is soft!

Christine Thresh said...

I am so glad you gave us your report and I am so glad you are fine. What a scary thing to go through all alone.
Did you take a picture of the store before you picked things up?

Carol E. said...

I was instantly wondering when I heard it was centered in Ferndale! So glad you are OK; and thanks for the interesting play by play.

Corrie and Laura Sutter said...

did you take pictures of sdq shop with all the mess that fell?

Tanya said...

Oh dear. I'm sorry, I didn't even know that California had had an earthquake. Glad to know you are all fine. I hope things will get back into order soon for everyone...