I was actually out of town during the first quake [on September 20]. I recall driving back from the Lakeview area that night and hearing a radio report about an earthquake “near Medford.” So it was with quite a shock that in driving into Klamath Falls I couldn’t find a local radio station, noticed all the lights were off and realized the streets were nearly deserted. At home my dog was gone. He escaped and ran to a neighbor’s. On the way to get him I noticed families sleeping outside their homes.
The second quake [on December 4] was a Saturday afternoon. I knew what was happening immediately because I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, where quakes were fairly frequent. It seems like a wave rolled right up from my front yard through the living room and kitchen and then to the backyard. They say quakes last milli-seconds, but I remember getting out of my chair, walking to the front window, realizing that wasn’t a good place to be, then retreating. Then heading to the paper office because I knew I’d have stories to write.
Interestingly, some of the lingering effects are still being felt in the little town of Tulelake, just south of the Oregon-California state line. They are still trying to upgrade some facilities damaged in the quakes.
By Lee Juillerat