"Between business and residential
damage, the city of Napa alone is facing an estimated $50 million in overall earthquake-related losses
and damages," said California Gov. Gray Davis. "I believe that the most significant damage has yet to be
identified, since many homeowners are afraid to report damage, as they fear displacement from their
Davis has asked President Clinton to declare Napa County a federal disaster area, which would clear the
way for federal aid in the form of low-cost loans, grants, and temporary housing assistance for people
and businesses affected by the Sept. 3 temblor.
"It is clear that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the
capabilities of the state and affected local governments and that federal supplementary assistance is
necessary," Davis said.
Damage estimates for Napa were initially put at between $5 million and $15 million. Those figures
began to rise steadily last week as the state began preliminary damage assessments aided by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Napa officials said they believe between 3,000 and 5,000 residences may have been damaged by the
quake, which struck about 1:36 a.m. City officials said they were receiving 500 requests a day for
damage inspections. Napa officials today were expected to launch a comprehensive canvass of all
structures that had been reported damaged, Davis said.
The majority of the losses have involved cracked walls, damaged or destroyed chimneys, shifting
foundations, and possessions which fell and broke. There were also broken water and gas mains, some
fires and power outages in the town, Davis reported.
Officials have "red-tagged" at least three houses and one commercial building, meaning they cannot be
occupied. "City officials estimate that approximately 50 to 60 percent of businesses located in downtown
Napa were damaged with most sustaining glass breakage and significant inventory losses," Davis said in
his letter to Clinton."
The Napa County courthouse located in the city of Napa received serious damage to its second and
third floors. Davis noted that few residents carried earthquake insurance and that even those who did
will likely not have the losses to their homes and businesses covered because of high deductibles. "Given
the low level of insurance coverage for the area and the high rate of earthquake insurance deductibles, it
is highly unlikely that insurance proceeds will provide significant coverage for these types of losses,"
More than 70 people were hurt in the earthquake, most of them suffering minor injuries. Five people
were hospitalized, three of whom have since been released. The most seriously injured was 5-year-old
Nathan Schrank of Napa, who remained in critical condition at Children's Hospital Oakland after
undergoing surgery again on Friday. He was struck by falling bricks and debris in his home.
More links on Earthquakes