Damage remains 2 years after devastating 6.0 quake hit Napa County

Thursday, August 25, 2016
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While many buildings have been repaired two years after the 6.0 earthquake that hit Napa, some damage is still clearly visible. We visited to see firsthand what's changed and what hasn't.

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- Two years ago today, the ground underneath Napa rocked as a 6.0 earthquake shook the Bay Area. It's the biggest quake to hit the region in 25 years. And while many buildings have been repaired, some damage is still clearly visible.

We visited Napa to see firsthand what's changed and what hasn't.

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As of 3:20 a.m., Napa was two years removed from the 6.0 earthquake that crumpled buildings and challenged any remaining facade of seismological security.

It is true - in neighborhoods most homeowners have moved out of the RVs they parked in their front yards. But is it over? Typically no.

"I don't know what typical is," said Elizabeth Emmett. "But typical for us in Napa is that there are still hundreds of yellow-tagged homes."

For this Napa resident, a pool is the one remaining big-ticket item.

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"Our retirement plan is longer by a few years," said Emmett.

The good news is tourists appear to have returned.

Mayor Jill Techel is optimistic.

"Sometimes when you have a disaster you can rebuild better and I think we have done that," she said.

Rebuild or reboot.

If anyone has Napa's pulse it would be Patricia Trimble, who never wiped up the paint that spilled on her floor that morning.

She is the store owner who turned plywood on her broken window into a postcard rallying cry.

"We love our town and I think we all love it a little more now," she said.

They especially love the historic First Presbyterian Church, where walls and plaster and glass broke, and work continues. But it is beautiful and restored inside, such a relief to Pastor David Stoker.

Stoker: "It is amazing that the congregation could raise $1.5 million."

Freedman: "Amazing or a miracle?"

Stoker: "A good way to put it. I am the pastor, but you took the pastor's words."

For all the damage in the church, there's one piece of quake damage they'll never touch. It's a dent in the corner of the pulpit, where part of the church came crashing down.

If Stoker had been there preaching at that moment, he would no longer be with us.

"It reminds us that tragedy is part of life," he said. "It is not going anywhere."

Neither, it seems, is Napa.

Click here for full coverage on the Napa Valley Earthquake.