25 years ago - Shaken By The Quake. Where were you?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Dec 2007

    25 years ago - Shaken By The Quake. Where were you?

    Time flies. Where were you during the Loma Prieta earthquake?

    Last edited by Empty_Beer; 10-19-2014 at 06:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2006
    I was standing on the corner of Market and California streets in downtown San Fransisco.

    Heard a loud rumbling, rattling, crazy sound traveling towards us. I turned around - what the


    With a few friends. Luckily, we were not standing right next to any buildings. 'Cause we saw people
    getting hit with falling debris. We raced back to the parking garage where we found it still standing.
    Getting out of the city was interesting. Smoke everywhere.
    No electricity, so none of the stop lights were working. All the intersections were jammed with cars - impossible to move.
    So I decided to drive down the sidewalk.
    Just as we were driving onto the on ramp for the Bay Bridge, to get back to Moraga, we heard on the news that
    the bridge had broke.
    Pulled a U turn on the on ramp and headed for the Golden Gate. It was open.
    None of the other bridges were open, so we had to drive through Sonoma County and down to Berkeley.
    Drove right past the smashed freeway - pretty freaky.
    We didn't get to Moraga until close to midnight ( I think it hit around 5:something PM).

    I haven't been back to SF since.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
    I got off work (Alameda Navy Base) an hour early thanks to the Giants vs. A's World Series Game. Drove through the Cypress Expressway at about 4. Drove over the Bay Bridge and down through the Marina District to see if there where any waves to surf at Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge. No waves, so I went to downtown SF to pick up my girlfriend from her job. Sitting at a stop light on Golden Gate Ave and Larkin Street when it hit. I had never been through any earthquake before that and I didn't realize what was going on at first. I thought someone was standing on the bumper of my van, rocking it up and down. I realized it was an earthquake when a street light almost came through the windshield of my van, it didn't break and fall, it was flexing that much.
    Take Gravity For A Ride

  4. #4
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    Jan 2011
    Doing algebra homework. I said "F" algebra, life's too short algebra sucks. Went and kicked back with my family and friends.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2006
    I was 10, watching the WS (Go Giants!!) at my friends house when the house started shaking. initially we just sat there assuming it would be over quickly, we watched the water in his pool make a tidal wave and splash out all over the backyard. the shaking didn't stop so we thought we better get in a doorway like we learned in school, but then thought better of it and ran downstairs and out the front door. well, I had a broken ankle so I hopped downstairs... seeing the wreckage of the Cypress structure and the bay bridge collapse, we were lucky all we had were some broken dishes and whatnot...

  6. #6
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    Sep 2011
    I was at work in San Rafael. We were actually standing outside talking to a customer, and I felt "unsteady". Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the streetlights start moving, and then shortly therafter started whipping back and forth.

    I thought "Hmmm. This may be an earthquake"

    After a few more seconds, the ground was rolling and it was hard to stand up. One person followed their training and ran INTO the building to stand in a doorway. I said "F that, I'm going to stand in the middle of the parking lot."

    We decided "This must be bad", so we closed the shop and got onto the quickly congesting freeways to get home.

    I got home, and turned on the news, and was very sobered.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2007
    I was at Candlestick awaiting the start of the World Series between the Giants and the A's. I was in the right field upper deck next to the foul pole. That place really moved,thankfully the expansion joints worked and the stadium kept all safe. It was weird looking at the foul pole for reference and seeing how much that place moved back and forth. We didn't realize how bad it was till we heard the reports on the radio and tried to navigate traffic and get home to the South Bay.

  8. #8
    Life's a Garden, dig it!
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    Jul 2006
    We're in Santa Rosa. We had our neighbors over to watch the WS (Go Giants!). Our friend's toddler was sitting on the floor right in front of a big Armoire that we own. The armoire started rocking and hitting the wall. I jumped up and pinned it against the wall until the quake was over. I'm not sure it would have fallen, but didn't want to find out.
    Last edited by chuckha62; 10-17-2014 at 01:37 PM. Reason: avoiding apostrophe catastrophe

  9. #9
    Paper or plastic?
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    Jul 2004
    We were kicking back in our apartment on the ground floor off of Franklin, a few blocks south of Lombard. We went under the door way until it stopped. Then, we took the car and went around the city to see what happened. We were without electricity or gas for a few days. I remember that right after the earthquake, it was really warm in San Francisco, and we were hanging out outside.

    Also remember that it took us hours to call back home overseas as the phone circuits were completely jammed.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  10. #10
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    Nov 2010
    I was 10 and at soccer practice about 20 miles east of Sacramento. I, as well as everyone on my team felt it, but at the time we didn't know what "it" was.

  11. #11
    jrm is offline
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    Jan 2004
    If youd like to pay homage to those that lost there lives on I-880 there is a moment of silence ceremony this afternoon @ 5:04 this afternoon located @ 13th and Mandela Prkw in west oakland.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2011
    Was in rural Gilroy surrounded by acres of freshly plowed farmland (at home)...saw the ground literally wave like a liquid as the earthquake waves propagated...will never forget this for as long as I live...some real geologic magic right there

  13. #13
    Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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    Jul 2007

    25 years ago - Shaken By The Quake. Where were you?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisbtsc View Post
    I was 10 and at soccer practice about 20 miles east of Sacramento. I, as well as everyone on my team felt it, but at the time we didn't know what "it" was.
    I was in 8th grade and at soccer practice as well up in the Sierra foothills outside of Placerville...it sounded like a plane had broken the sound barrier, but lasted a lot longer.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2010
    I was driving on I-880 thru Fremont racing home to watch the World Series. Got home hours later

  15. #15
    I'm really diggin it!
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    Dec 2012
    11 years old skateboarding with a a friend at his house near Tiburon. We later went up to the top of ring mountain after the quake with a spotting scope. Checked out the bridge damage as well as the Marina fire.

  16. #16
    It's about showing up.
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    Jan 2004
    I was driving on Upper Market when the car started to wobble like it had been hit. All the shop windows were flexing and the reflections were pulsing. we drove home without traffic lights and it was totally mellow. We got a call to our kin in Victoria immediately to tell them we were okay. Phones after that were dicey.

    We lived on Russian Hill and BBQ'ed on the roof of the 8th floor roof, built on rock and designed by the guy who did San Quentin. We watched the fire of the Marina School and drank beers. The smoke went straight up. You could see Lombard was bumper-to-bumper with folks heading out of the City.

    The Ice Cream store on Union and Hyde gave away its stuff before it all melted. Locals walked the neighborhood to try and absorb and validate. Context was illusive but all of a sudden we were neighbors. Very cool. We were, after all, Californians.
    I don't rattle.

  17. #17
    Dark Meat
    I was asleep in my apartment in Washington...I was watching the World Series...tried to call family back home in Ukiah...phones were jammed. I didn't realize the seriousness of the situation until the next day.

  18. #18
    Crash Dummy In Training
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    Jun 2013
    On our way to the Giants A's World Series game running late just got off 280 heading over to 101 on 380 I thought the drive line on my girlfriends Trans Am had a bad u joint going out.
    I was doing about 80 mph so I slowed down once we got on 101 a lot of people were pulled over looking at their tires and their cars.
    We didn't even know what happened we were listening to KNBR but it went off air I thought the car had an electrical short.
    We got to Candle Stick parked went in and everyone started telling us what happened we stayed about 30 minutes then left.
    Took us 5 and a half hours to get home to Santa Clara all of our brick fencing was on the ground all our fish tanks were half empty our hot tub was cracked and draining most of our dishes and glasses were broken on the kitchen floor.
    What a nightmare hope we never have to have that happen again.
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  19. #19
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Apr 2010
    At work in a cinderblock building in downtown Mountain View. Power knocked out for blocks. Somehow I had this crazy idea to drive to Foothill College for my 6:00PM class. Traffic suddenly came to a standstill on 280 near Magdalena… people were driving AROUND something, couldn’t tell until I got right up onto it– a foot and a half tall ripple across ALL lanes in the northbound direction, so everyone was driving around it on the shoulder. Got to Foothill College, power was out, realised there must not have been any classes that evening. Of course, no radio in my car (1958 VW Beetle) so I had no idea how much serious sh¡t went down when the quake hit.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  20. #20
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    Dec 2006
    that day was my 1st in CA, my GF and I packed up everything we had and headed to Santa Rosa from PA, as we were walking out of a small diner in Santa Rosa waiting for a credit check so we would have a place to live, i noticed my car rocking back and forth, then we felt it, 1st day 1st quake, it wasn't until later when we got back to the KOA in Petaluma did we see reports and realize the severity of what happened. we now had a great story about our start in Ca, and had a wonderful 11 year run there, still miss CA, maybe i'll get back some day

  21. #21
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    Oct 2011
    I had ridden my bike to work that day, from Santa Clara up to the Sunnyvale/Mt. View border. That was my fastest commute home ever, as I just sailed by mile after mile of stopped traffic on Central Expressway. All the traffic lights were out, but with traffic not moving, there were no delays at all on a bike.

    Another engineer and I had been testing some new CRT monitors with our company’s graphics cards that afternoon. We had them stacked precariously on top of other monitors (this was pre-LCD days – these were 19″ and larger CRTs). I remarked to the other guy that I hoped an earthquake did not happen while we had this set up. Well one did! I decided to stay in the office with my body pressed against the monitors to hold them in place. I determined I could not clear the area fast enough to avoid the flying glass if one of those CRTs fell and imploded, so it seemed safer to stay put.

  22. #22
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    May 2008
    My buddies & I were in Lower Reserved Sec 18 at The Stick, back underneath, about 3 rows from the top. The place started shaking, I knew it was a quake, first thought was maybe to lie on the floor below the seats in case the roof collapsed, or maybe head for the exit but we were in the middle of the row and it seemed pretty far. We did neither and stayed put. After several seconds the rumbling seemed to stop momentarily, then it shifted into another gear, overdrive! We just stood there and rode it out til it finally stopped.
    We all let out a roar, hooting & hollering and high fived all around. Now we were really pumped! We had no clue, the extent of what had just occurred.
    Kevin had a Sony Watchman with a little 1" screen, still something of a rarity in 1989. We huddled around and watched along with the rest of the nation, thinking everywhere was just like the Bay Bridge & Marina, rather than that just being the worst of it.
    As we left the park walking back to the car, we ran into some Stick workers, some vendors. They were taking turns carrying a larger than bowling ball sized chunk of concrete that had fallen out of the Candlestick concourse somewhere. We put our ticket stubs on that chunk and took some pictures.
    On our drive back through the City, it was eerie, the whole place was dark, the only lights were headlights. No damage and everything perfectly normal when I got home to San Rafael.

  23. #23
    middle ring single track
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    Aug 2009
    I have photos but would have to dig them out and scan them; some words will have to do for now.

    I was in the Los Gatos foothills a bit off Shannon Road at my parent's place; I had just walked out of a workshop when it hit. I was immediately knocked to the ground; I was trying to get back up when I saw a 90# anvil topple off its stand and head in my direction---I never crawled so fast on my hands and knees before! Maybe after 20 or so seconds I was able to get back on my feet.

    The sound was hard to describe; perhaps a rumble but masked by the sound of all sorts of man-made objects crashing off of shelves and tipping over. Maybe after 30 seconds the crashing stopped and there was a weird hissing sound; as it diminished I observed it was from dozens of mini-land slides consisting of oak leaves, dry soil and rocks as the angle of repose for the vicinity got reset.

    I ran towards my folks house and met them coming out "We're OK are you OK???"; further discussion was postponed as then was heard the sound of gushing water. I headed uphill towards the local water storage tanks (private water system) and encountered a mini-flash flood when I got about halfway there; a wooden 8000 gallon tank had ruptured---the top was blown apart like a firecracker in a tin can and the whole tank had hopped high enough off the ground for the base to separate from the walls.

    It being a total loss I directed my attention our property's smaller individual storage tank; it was intact but the outlet pipe had snapped off---I hastily whittled a cork from a handy oak branch (many branches had been shaken out of the trees) and stemmed the flow.

    No fires, all the propane related stuff; tanks and appliances had remained secured. Power was out (but only for 6 hours) and the phones had a dial tone but calls weren't going anywhere.

    Kids??? Oh yeah my kids were 3 yrs and 18 months and at a pre-school/daycare over in Campbell; I don't remember whose turn it was to pick them up that evening but my wife and I had a disaster plan that we'd both try pick them up failing to hear otherwise. Did I mention that cell phones were a bit rare back then? Our family didn't have them...

    Traffic was strangely light for the time of day; of course most of the traffic lights on the west side of the valley were out. Impressed that maybe just 15 minutes after the quake regular citizens were out at intersections trying to direct traffic. (And shouting at me to slow it down!) Got to the pre-school and was relieved that my wife had beaten me by 10 minutes and was already headed home.

    Returning towards Los Gatos I then realized the seriousness of the quake; I could then see quite a few columns of dark smoke coming from fires further south---an early hint to the direction of the epicenter.

    Speaking of the epicenter; I had hike-a-biked that vicinity of Nisene Marks only a couple of weeks before---I was there to see the "Big Slide" and also to try to find Whites Lagoon coming uphill from the east. Upon hearing where the epicenter was I returned maybe a month later; holy crap nothing looked the same---lots of fissures in the ground and medium-size trees sheared off high off the ground. Got to find those photos...
    Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.

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  24. #24
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Did I mention that cell phones were a bit rare back then? Our family didn't have them...
    Pretty sure they were still referred to as “car phones” back then, at least, that’s what I remember. My dad had a car phone from the mid-1980s until the handheld ones became “vogue”.
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

  25. #25
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    I can't get over reading this thread after being in my first real quake recently. My heart starts racing as I read.

  26. #26
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    That was the nite MMWD were to vote on a plan to severely limit riding on Mount Tam and the Watershed. They had actually rented the Veterans auditorium for the meeting. Still Myself and hundreds of Mountain Bikers and the usual HoHas showed up in the end they voted down the plan if it had gone through we would not be riding anywhere on Tam or Pine Mountain Today. Ironically the author of the plan left the MMWD and is now the head planner for the Stafford Lake Bike Park. Times Change

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