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Napa residents seek comfort at church following earthquake

Napa's First United Methodist Church is off limits after officials red tagged the building, but thanks to another local church community service goes on.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
People in the Napa Valley community are coming together to rebuild after the disaster. Some people are seeking comfort at a church on Randolph Street in Napa.

Napa's First United Methodist Church is off limits after officials red tagged the building, but thanks to another local church community service goes on.

"I must say It's a little bit strange. You know I've been a Methodist all my life," one woman said.

Members of the First United Methodist Church meet a mile and a half across town for Sunday's service. From now on, it will be held at the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Pastor Marvin Wray says they're donating the space for free because the earthquake badly damaged the other church. "To see people coming in with their smiles this morning and look around our sanctuary and just feel blessed is just a real warm feeling for us," Wray said.

"It's beyond words. It's just such a gift. And they have been open ended about it. As long as we need it," Mary Herzog said.

The First United Methodist Church is red tagged and unsafe to go inside. Repairs could go beyond $1 million and it won't be fully repaired for at least a year.

This has been a rough week and Sunday morning's aftershock rattled a community trying to move forward.

Comfort dogs are in town from Chicago. "Our dogs of course are just lovers. They're confidential. They don't take notes and so they're furry counselors," Lutheran Church Charities spokesperson Tim Hetzner said.

The city of Vallejo is also recovering. Representatives with the Solano Volunteer Organizations Active in a Disaster Group are making themselves available to answer any questions.

"This may be the first time that they have have free time to come into the city and talk to anybody," Vallejo city engineer Jill Mercurio said.

"This is my first experience with an earthquake and there's a little damage to my chimney, so I needed to know how to take care of it," Vallejo resident Letha Clement said.

In Vallejo, the biggest task right now is continuing to inspect buildings. The Central Permit Center is extending hours and waving permit fees for earthquake related damage.
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