The Water Cooler – Have You Ever Experienced A Natural Disaster?

October 10, 2018 12:12 pm · 23 comments

The “Water Cooler Chat” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you will talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

QUESTION: Have you ever experienced a natural disaster such as an earthquake (over 6.0-magnitude), tornado, hurricane, tsunami, major flood, etc.?

Talk about it…

Yup! October 10, 2018 at 12:28 PM

Yup. The ’89 earthquake I was reading the paper waiting for the World Series to begin.

Dawg October 10, 2018 at 12:35 PM

Only earthquakes. I was a little kid in San Francisco during the 50’s and there were so many earthquakes that we got used to them. They would happen during the day and in the middle of the night and wake us from a sound sleep. We were so used to them that we just shrugged and said, “humph, another earthquake” and went back to sleep or went about our business as if nothing happened. In 1957 there was a big one that measured 5.7 that shattered a window in our house and of course we’ll never forget the Loma Prieta Earthquake which was a 6.9. Can you believe that was 29 years ago? Seems like yesterday.

ACB128 October 10, 2018 at 1:02 PM

Loma Prieta in 1989 same as others. I was 3 at the time. I don’t remember much except I ran out onto the driveway of my parents house for some reason. My parents were trying to grab me.

Lo October 10, 2018 at 1:09 PM

Loma Prieta Earthquake, I was in Richmond so it wasn’t too bad until we turned on the tv, I was 7.

Now the Napa earthquake? I was dog sitting on a beautiful vineyard in Napa. It was heavenly. Was. That quake was far more terrifying, especially hitting in the middle of the night, in an unfamiliar house and hearing glass breaking in other rooms. I was so sure that it had been “The Big One” and that SF was probably destroyed. I didn’t associate Napa with quakes, so I didn’t imagine it had hit only a mile or two away as the crow flies. Thankfully I was in the ONLY building on the property that didn’t have any structural damage. Was surreal watching the smoke rise from the fire at the 55+ trailer park and seeing the helicopters circling Trefethen’s beautiful main building all day. So glad they were able to restore it!!

I also learned that tiny Yorkies are completely useless as earthquake alarms. They had no idea what was going on until I scooped them up from next to me while screaming for Jesus to save us all!

But I’ll take a quake ANY day over a Tornado, Hurricane or Blizzard!

T-Rex October 10, 2018 at 1:10 PM

Hurricane Katrina in 2005. House backed up to the bayou. Lost my house and it was what brought me to California. Fresh start!!! Of course all my things are somewhere still waiting to be found in the Gulf of Mexico!

Dorothy October 10, 2018 at 1:29 PM

Loma Prieta.

just1dering October 10, 2018 at 1:29 PM

1989 Candlestick Park, in the Bar at the time of the shaking.
Nobody was allowed to leave Candlestick parking lot until around midnight, all the surrounding bridges were close for inspection. An incredible party ensued with everyone sharing food and drink, I think there was a sense of survival, hence it was like a celebration. Drove home 100 mph down 101-237-680N drinking Mickey’s Big Mouth, not a cop on the road.

KAD October 10, 2018 at 1:39 PM

Yes, the Loma Prieta in 1989. I remember it like it happened yesterday. I was living in San Francisco in Bernal Heights at the time. I worked downtown but left work early that day for a dental appointment, also downtown. Instead of going back to work I went home. Thank goodness I did or I might have had to walk home. I was sitting outside talking to a few neighborhood kids when it hit. I felt a small jolt and then a much larger one. I told the kids to run into the street away from the house windows. It was hard to stay on my feet. It seemed to last forever. My husband and stepdaughter were home. We went on the back patio and turned the radio on. We could not believe what we were hearing about the bridge and road collapses.

We had no power for days. Only out of state phone calls were going through. When local calls were working my boss called me and wanted me to come to work. I worked IT for Macy’s. I told her that I would not come into work until the building was deemed safe by the City. She found someone else to come in and fix the problems. When I went back to work, I would not get in the elevator so I walked up 9 flights of stairs. Within a month we moved to Tennessee for the next few months.

Marianne October 10, 2018 at 2:10 PM

Loma Prieta was the biggest earthquake I’ve been through. Just enjoying the day on the road when it hit. My car slid from side to side a little, not really a big deal here in California.

Roz October 10, 2018 at 2:12 PM

Only the Loma Prieta in 1989. We were just about to go out for Dinner for my 32nd Birthday,…ended up staying home.

MattfromConcord October 10, 2018 at 2:32 PM

Loma Preita as well. I was at work in PH. It was amazing to see the concrete floor ripple. Also typhoon in Hong Kong in 1991. Lots of rain but business as usual.

Smith October 10, 2018 at 2:45 PM

Is that like a bad hair day?

Big Papi October 10, 2018 at 2:56 PM

I was at the WS game at the ‘Stick during the Lima Prieta quake. We were in the left field bleachers and I thought it was a jet fly over at first.

Rob October 10, 2018 at 3:53 PM


If I lived where a hurricane was going to strike, I sure as heck wouldn’t wait around to “ride it out”.

Atticus Thraxx October 10, 2018 at 5:03 PM

Discounting presidential elections, I was in several minor hurricanes back east. Can’t remember the names, if they even named them back then. And an ice storm in Pennsylvania that was worse. Literately could not drive to work for my shift. And I never missed shifts. My fence collapsed and lost a good portion of two tress. Gutters all came down. No power later that night that lasted 4-5 hours. Suckage.

chuckie the troll October 10, 2018 at 5:04 PM

Democrat control of California certainly qualifies as a disaster, however, is it natural?

Seen flooding, been in earthquakes, had wildfires close-by, etc…over the past 60 years. Still, I’d take earthquake country over tornadoes and hurricanes any day of the week!

Lambie October 10, 2018 at 5:25 PM

Loma Prieta 1989 – My mom was in SF. She would usually use BART to commute home, instead she took a ferry ⛴ from SF to Oakland.

I was on the east coast worrying.

Bad Nombre October 10, 2018 at 6:15 PM

Is divorce a natural disasters? I lost my house and family.

Gov. Brown the 1st. October 10, 2018 at 8:10 PM

The Yuba City Flood of 1959 was the “Worst Disaster to Hit the State since I was elected Governor!”

Citizen October 10, 2018 at 9:02 PM

I was working at UC Berkeley on the vanpool going home and we just merged on 24 after the tunnel and was wondering why people were stopped looking at their tires. None of us felt the earth moving during the Loma Prieta earthquake. I got out of that one! No other experiences that would be considered a disaster except when I make mistakes in life.

Whoe Jim October 10, 2018 at 9:24 PM

Hello Edmund….

L October 11, 2018 at 9:37 AM

Hurricanes, Loma Prieta in Oakland, and Oakland Firestorm. I’m a little fire nervous after that, and have chosen new home locations based on elevation, vegetation, and more than one road in/out.

Susan I. October 11, 2018 at 10:31 PM

89 Earthquake
A few hurricanes in Florida
Tornados, a few ice storms & blizzards in Michigan and blizzards in Pennsylvania.

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