FOX 11 Archives: One Angeleno's Northridge Quake Story - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

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>>

  • 27-Year-Old Rape Victim Speaks Out

    27-Year-Old Rape Victim Speaks Out

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-08-30 05:05:11 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.”
  • The Los Angeles County Fair Begins Labor Day Weekend

    The Los Angeles County Fair Begins Labor Day Weekend

    Friday, August 29 2014 2:41 PM EDT2014-08-29 18:41:54 GMT
    The Los Angeles County Fair begins its 23-day run at Fairplex in Pomona today with a nighttime Chinese lantern display and an expanded farm area but without a staple of 75 years, horse racing.
    The Los Angeles County Fair begins its 23-day run at Fairplex in Pomona today with a nighttime Chinese lantern display and an expanded farm area but without a staple of 75 years, horse racing.
  • Activists Call On Beverly Hills PD For 'Racial Profiling Prohibition' Ordinance

    Activists Call On Beverly Hills PD For 'Racial Profiling Prohibition' Ordinance

    Friday, August 29 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:28:03 GMT
    A group of civil rights activists plans today to call on Beverly Hills to enact a "racial profiling prohibition" ordinance in response to the arrest of a black television and film producer.
    A group of civil rights activists plans today to call on Beverly Hills to enact a "racial profiling prohibition" ordinance in response to the arrest of a black television and film producer.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

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