Loma Prieta Earthquake Stories

I just got home from Mare Island at about 4:15 pm and was planning to go to an Electonics store near Oakland Airport. My apartment was on the wind sweep hill side in Benecia. The route would have taken me southbound over the Cypress Structure at about 5 pm. I was tired and laid down for a quick nap.

At about 5 pm the earthquake stuck. I can remember about 20 or more seconds of intense shaking. My TV and other items were moving to the vibrations. There was also some slow rolling sensations. I turned on the TV and found that only the Sacramento channel was on. I watched as they were discussing the earthquake and where it was located. A few minutes after I had felt the earthquake, the curtains in the Sacramento TV studio began swaying.

If I had gone to the store near the Oakland Airport I may have been on the top deck of the Cyprus Structure when the quake hit. I have always been afraid of the Cyprus Structure when I used to travel on it frequently. The roadway spans on that structure dipped between supports enough to make my truck bounce up and down when driving as low as 45 miles an hour. The roadway was not level as a well designed roadway should be.

Kent Hawley February 1, 2010

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The Loma Prieta earthquake, which occurred on October 17, 1989, is the most recent large earthquake to strike the San Francisco Bay Area. Many individuals and families have stories and memories related to this damaging earthquake. To help us preserve these precious stories and learn more about the earthquake, please share your story and memories with us.

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