Napa marks first anniversary after quake with hope, introspection

One year ago Monday morning, Napa and its surrounding communities were rocked by a 6.0 earthquake that caused major damage to hundreds of buildings. But in the 12 months since, Napa has rebounded greatly, as has its adopted spokesman, a 14-year-old boy injured in the temblor. 

Hundreds of people converged on Veterans' Memorial Park Monday afternoon for this hopeful anniversary. But while Napa is bouncing back well, there are still people struggling to get back on their feet.

The past year has been a nightmare for Christina Jamieson.

"All the walls came down, the windows all broken," she said about her big Victorian home across from Fuller Park, which was knocked four and a half feet off its foundation by the Napa earthquake.

She is still not back in because, while the foundation has been fixed, much work remains to be done, including the gas, which has yet to be reconnected by PG&E.

"Now they're saying I have to dig the trench or pay someone to dig the trench for them to reconnect it. If they do it, it's $7,000 plus $3,800," explained Jamieson.

At Napa's New Technology High School, KTVU spoke with someone who suffered serious injury, but whose year has been better. Nick Dillon, the face of the city's post-earthquake recovery, is now in the tenth grade.

"I had about four multiple pelvic fractures. Two on the left and two on the right," said Nick.

Nick was 13 last August 24th when he had a friend staying over at his home. Nick was sleeping on a mattress in the living room and his friend was on the couch when the 6.0 earthquake hit. The brick fire place at his home collapsed on top of him.

"I woke up this morning at 3:20 a.m. when the earthquake happened. I kind of sat in my bed and reflected on what happened and where I am today," said Nick. "And going back to it, I can't believe an earthquake, something so powerful, could happen here in my community."

Napa Mayor Jill Techel says like young Nick, overall her city is recovering well.

"We've accomplished a lot in this year, if you look how far we've come," said Techel. "And we're ready to keep going, keep moving."

Mayor Techel added that tourism is back to where it was before the quake. And in fact, she says, despite two hotels being knocked out for a couple months, tax revenues were up one percent.