February 28, 2001 - Our earthquake


I was at work just before 11 on the 8th floor of a 100 year old building.  It rocked and rolled for a really long time.  I was in the Bay Area for the 1989 earthquake and this one was far more terrifying.  Stuff crashed everywhere.

Everyone left that building and all the other buildings around it and gathered in the center of the street and then promptly tried to call someone on their cell phones.  This was followed by everyone turning to everyone else asking 'Can you get through? I can't get through.  Can you get through?'  It was a fairly humorous scene.

After we finished counting noses from my company, I went across the street to see how my house was.  The elevator was out.  There was light in the stairwell until I hit the 3rd floor and the last leg of the trip was in total dark.  Two guys were on my floor and guided me with their voices.  It was a realtor and his client - way to make a sale.  They were looking for a flashlight.  I told them I had one in my unit.  We finally got there in the dark and got it open.... It was a mess.  See the cupboard in the picture on the left?  Well, it was on the floor.  The guys helped me right it as well as several others blocking the way.  

As we made our way in, things looked like this.

I had a rather extensive coffee mug collection.  Now I have a much smaller collection and lots of shard.  Very much a mess.

But, outside of glasses and coffee mugs and a big mess, there is really no lasting damage.  One of my VCR's didn't make it.  But, it was dying anyway.  I am so very lucky.  Both my cats survived.  They were not particularly amused but they are fine.

Later on this afternoon, a couple of my neighbors and I went out to check out the 'hood'.  (By the way, my neighbors live one floor below me and had almost NO damage.  A lamp is leaning and they have a wall crack and some dust.  But that is it!).  

We live in the historic district of Seattle.  This is not the first earthquake that many of these buildings have been through.  But, it seems some of them have forgotten how to handle them...  Check out this gap in the building next to ours.  If you look closely you can see the books still on the shelves.  My books are no longer on my shelves!  But, then, I don't have a big hole in my wall.

The building next to ours lost part of its corner.

Down the block there was a really scary deal.  Paul Allen (who owns the Seahawks and a bunch of other stuff) was restoring this older building.  See the missing bricks?  Well, those suckers are now on top of two very crushed cars. You can hardly see them below.

All in all, it's been a pretty full day.  Cleaning up is going to take some time at this house.  I still don't have electricity in half of the house but the computer is up and running and I was able to find rabbit ears for one of my televisions so even though we don't have cable back yet, I can get at least a fuzzy picture.  My stove, refrigerator and microwave are out of order but I have potato chips and beer.  It sure could be worse!

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