Local News

Southern Colorado residents reflect on Bay Area quake experience 25 years apart

Two earthquakes, two perspectives

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Southern Colorado homeowners, Steve Nowak and Monique Derr witnessed the two strongest Bay Area earthquakes in the last 25 years.

Sunday's 6.0 magnitude jolt had an epicenter about  40 miles north of San Francisco in California's wine country and hit just before 3:30 a.m. PST

Falcon's Monique Derr was sleeping in her San Francisco hotel room.

"I grabbed my baby, yelled to my mom there's earthquake, wake up, and we ran to the door way," Derr said. "It's a reminder that we're not in control, things can happen at any moment and I'm just glad there was a happy ending here for us."

Dozens were injured, homes caught on fire, gas lines broke, and more than 15,000 people in Northern California were without power.

Inspectors are evaluating damaged buildings, bridges and roads.

It was the strongest quake Derr, a Los Angeles native, ever felt.

"It's memorable in the fear of, I'm on the seventh floor and everything is swaying. Is everything going to come down? It's a lot of unknown."

25 years ago, Steve Nowak, was about to do laundry in his apartment building when a 7.1 quake rocked the City By The Bay.

The earthquake struck right before the first pitch of Game 3 of the World Series at Candlestick Park.

"It bammed me forward," Nowak remembered. "It felt like a baseball bat. I leaned my head against the foundation at the end of the day and I got slammed by the foundation. I ran like a shot out of the building."

Nowak calls the 1989 earthquake a terrifying jolt. This former San Francisco resident calls that October day one of history's defining moments.

"It is imprinted," Nowak said. "It is like the Kennedy assassination. There's that moment before you heard about it and then afterwards everything changed."

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