Napa Unnerved by Small Thanksgiving Quake

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Slowly-healing nerves were frayed a little Thursday as the ground under the already rattled Napa lurched again.

“Heard the roar of the earthquake before I felt any shaking,” Chris Yepsen said.

But when that shaking came – a 3.1 magnitude earthquake – flashed him back to an anxiety-filled August.

“You remember the 6.0? Oh, that was crazy. Something little comes you know it could be a bigger one, could be smaller. It makes you remember, because it was violent. That 6.0 was violent,” he said.

It happened at 3:20 a.m. on Aug. 24.

Yepsen has family right across the street from the Whitlocks, whose home felt the full force of that month’s larger temblor.

That quake opened up a crack in the street near the intersection of Twin Oaks Drive and White Cliff Court, one that ran right through the Whitlocks’ home.

Three months ago, Yepsen was in south Napa, trying to give his baby son a bottle when that force came to town.

“We both got up, hit the floor, fell over, tried to crawl to the doorway and then it was over. It was violent. A dresser fell on me,” Yepsen said.

Some shaking doesn’t bother Mary Lou Kittle.

She just celebrated her 84th birthday by dancing on a casino counter.

But when a hint of what did almost $400 million dollars worth of damage to Napa showed itself again it felt different.

“The whole house just gave a big jolt. Of course the rest of the bunch there knew what was going on. They said, ‘Oh (expletive),” laughed Kittle as she described her latest visit with family in Napa.

Kittle’s clan didn’t lose a home in August,  but they nearly lost out on part of a big event that’d been in the works for months – her granddaughter’s wedding.

“Well she got married in Yountville and they had lost a lot of their liquor and all their glassware. But it all got replaced in time and the wedding went off without a hitch,” she said.

The only hitch now, coping with the reality of unannounced rumblings underground – ones could bring on the big one at any time.

She tries to console herself with the acceptance of “if it happens, happens.”

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