City of Napa celebrates resilience after 6.0 quake

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ByDan Ashley via KGO logo
Monday, August 24, 2015
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One year after the 6.0 earthquake, Napa stopped to recognize the enormous recovery effort and progress that has been made so far.

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- One year ago, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked the Napa Valley region and caused a lot of damage. Even after a year, there's much left to be done. In fact, there's never even been an official damage estimate because FEMA has yet to add up what the quake did to Napa's historic buildings.

On Aug. 24, 2014, the Napa quake roared through the normally tranquil valley tossing residents from bed, shaking homes off their foundations, tearing up streets and turning buildings into a crumbling mess.

I was here one year ago in downtown Napa at Third and Brown streets to witness to the devastation and destruction of the magnitude 6.0 quake that rattled the city of Napa and the Bay Area's nerves.

PHOTOS: One year after South Napa Quake

By time it was over, one person was dead and nearly 200 people were injured and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage done.

Instinctively, we knew at the time, it would take years to recover from this disaster and it will. However, exactly one year later there has been enormous progress. As the work continues, a community celebrates the huge steps to recovery so far. It is a major milestone, though the memories are still raw.

"It was absolutely terrifying. My dog lays down beside my bed and shakes my bed, I'm like right back there in the moment," said quake survivor Eve Howard.

"I think it's one of those traumatic things that just stays with you," said quake survivor Tracy Lamb.

Click here for details on the one-year anniversary, and click here for full coverage on the South Napa Earthquake.

There is a lot of pride around Napa. It has been a difficult year, but many residents are pleased and proud about how they stuck together and really solved some of the problems that were created.

Even after a year, we're getting some new statistics on the Napa Earthquake that are quite eye-opening. According to the California Earthquake Authority, 28 percent of the homes that were damaged had chimney damage, 33 percent had large wall cracks - either inside or outside or both, and 15 percent of the damaged homes could not be fully reoccupied.

The Napa wineries were especially hard hit. Millions of dollars in wine were lost. Some wineries are still trying to repair a year later. In total, the quake did about $80 million in damage, but most of them are back in business.

Napa celebrated its perseverance and its grit at the Veterans Memorial Park. The Napa Strong event is a thank you to the community for standing together for the past year. The mayor says about 85 percent of construction is complete.

City leaders are also looking to the future to become better prepared for the community's next emergency.

PHOTOS: South Napa Earthquake damage

PHOTOS: Six months after South Napa Earthquake