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Earthquake Shakes Residents’ Memories

| Gazette, News | January 16, 2014

by Martha Michael

With this week’s 20th anniversary of the 1994 “Northridge Earthquake,” anyone who lived in Santa Clarita can’t help but remember some detail of his/her experience that day.

“That’s how we really got to know the rest of the neighborhood,” says Kym Cappi of Canyon Country. “We all sat in my next door neighbor’s garage – one neighbor had a crank radio, so we sat listening to it. Connor was three months old, and he sat in his bassinet on a cardboard box for 10 hours.”

The neighbors with the radio lived across the street, and Cappi says that since they became friends on the day of the quake, the two families have gathered every year since to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday.

While Cappi claims she was “hysterical” when the quake hit, by contrast, she said her husband, Ron, went right back to sleep. He even planned to head in to work that day, until he found out there was no access to freeways, and his office was in Northridge, the epicenter of the quake. For weeks afterwards, Ron Cappi drove north on the I-5 and took the 126 freeway, miles and miles out of his way, to reach his chiropractic office each day.

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“It took more time to get to work than the hours I spent at work,” remembers Barbara Ward. “I worked in the San Fernando Valley, and it took four hours each way. I took the 14 to the Old Road to Balboa. I finally told my boss I wasn’t coming to work until the freeways opened up.”

Ward’s 13-year-old son, Timothy, her 19-year-old daughter, Christina, and her five-month-old granddaughter, Destinee, lived with her in a condominium in Canyon Country.

“It was so dark in my house, and Christina was screaming, ‘Where’s the baby?! Where’s the baby?!’ and the baby was in her arms.”
Ward’s son had invited a cousin to spend the night, and the family’s TV fell off the wall and hit the cousin. Luckily, he was unharmed, Ward said.

“Also, I had a red short-haired mini-dachsund. She weighed about six pounds. She got so scared that her snout turned totally white and her eyebrows too. It happened within a week,” said Ward.

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