FOX 11 Archives: One Angeleno's Northridge Quake Story - FOX 13 News

FOX 11 Archives: One Angeleno's Northridge Quake Story

Posted: Updated:

The 20th anniversary of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake has been covered by news media throughout the southland with stories that revisit the disaster; told mostly in words and pictures that quantify the quake's toll in lives and property.  I've spent the last couple of weeks viewing hundreds of videotapes of our coverage, and you can look at some of what I found by clicking on the many videos we've posted.  Rather than describing here what those pictures show so clearly, I thought I'd share with you an archive-related earthquake story.

When the temblor struck at 4:30 in the morning, it didn't awaken me.  I was living in Pasadena at the time, and the San Gabriel Valley was well east of the quake's epicenter.  That's not to say that the jolt wasn't felt over a wide area – it was – but it wasn't until I got on the freeway, headed toward Hollywood in the pre-dawn hours, that I began to witness the earthquake's impact.  Portions of the Santa Monica Freeway in West L.A. had collapsed, leading to closures in both directions that soon had traffic clogged for miles.  Cars and trucks were diverted onto surface streets, and it was slow going, with streetlights and traffic signals out of commission.

As my car crawled along Hollywood Boulevard I wondered what kind of damage I'd find when I got to the station.  I managed a 50,000 tape video archive, and I had visions of mountains of tapes on the floor.  Now in the early morning daylight I saw block after block strewn with bricks, stucco and glass.  On residential streets, it seemed that every other house had lost a chimney. As I drove onto the lot I heard (and smelled) the diesel generator, which had kicked in when city power went out.  Because we were on emergency power, not everything in the building was working, and it was dark and eerily quiet inside.  I grabbed a flashlight and went to the library, expecting to stumble across a colossal mess – but not a single tape had fallen.  Turns out a locking storage system we had installed kept the tapes in place.  We were the only station in L.A. using this method of storage, and the only one whose tape library didn't crash to the floor.

In the days and weeks that followed the quake, Southern Californians faced plenty of challenges in getting their lives back in order, and considering the lives lost and property  destroyed that day, a mountain of tapes is but a molehill.

 

  • Los Angeles & SoCal NewsLos Angeles & SoCal NewsMore>>

  • Nude Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence, Other Celebs Leaked Online By Hacker

    Nude Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence, Other Celebs Leaked Online By Hacker

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:03 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:03:25 GMT
    Nude photos of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence have been leaked online by a hacker who claimed to have a "master list" of images of 100 other starlets. A representative for the star of "The Hunger Games" confirmed the photos of Lawrence were real and blasted the hacker for "a flagrant violation of privacy."
    Nude photos of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence have been leaked online by a hacker who claimed to have a "master list" of images of 100 other starlets. A representative for the star of "The Hunger Games" confirmed the photos of Lawrence were real and blasted the hacker for "a flagrant violation of privacy."
  • LA's mayor proposed $13.25 an hour minimum wage

    LA's mayor proposed $13.25 an hour minimum wage

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has used Labor Day to call for raising the city's minimum wage.
    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has used Labor Day to call for raising the city's minimum wage.
  • 27-Year-Old Rape Victim Speaks Out

    27-Year-Old Rape Victim Speaks Out

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:07 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:07:45 GMT
    A 27-year-old woman is speaking out about her claims that she was raped. Desiree Patton says that her assailant "put my hands behind my back and cuffed me.”
    A 27-year-old woman is speaking out about her claims that she was raped. Desiree Patton says that her assailant "put my hands behind my back and cuffed me.”
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices