Editorial: One year ago, we were all shook up by the Nisqually quake

Do you remember where you were at just before 11 a.m. on this day last year?If you were in the Puget Sound region at that time, no doubt you do. That’s because today is the one year anniversary of the magnitude-6.8 Nisqually earthquake that rocked Western Washington.
The temblor has had a lasting impact on the region, with Western Washington receiving about $214 million in federal emergency aid related to the Nisqually earthquake.
Unfortunately, the repair work from that day is not complete.
While Tacoma appears to be pretty much back to normal, other areas have lasting reminders of the day the earth shook last year.
In Olympia, 10 miles from the quake’s epicenter, the once-busy Deschutes Parkway remains closed and is not expected to reopen before late 2003.
While state government buildings have received “make-safe” work that has allowed them to reopen, most buildings and the Capitol dome itself are still waiting for repairs as the Federal Emergency Management Agency negotiate the price tag.
In Seattle, a Pioneer Square building that housed the nonprofit Compass Center, a homeless shelter that served 250 people per day, needs $5.5 million in repairs.
A University of Washington survey of retail businesses in the historic downtown neighborhood found that 25 percent expect long-term revenue loss from the quake.
On a personal level, this writer – who at the time was not employed by the Index – was sleeping in at home in Steilacoom.
I distinctly remember being rattled awake and then jokingly thinking to myself as my apartment rattled all about me, “My alarm clock doesn’t have an earthquake setting.”
Needless to say, that’s quite a shocking way to wake up!
I was amazed to discover, considering the intensity and length of the quake, that not so much as one item was damaged in my apartment. In fact, not so much as one item was even knocked over or fell to the floor.
For me it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to experience the quake from the office of the Index, located on the 12th floor of The Washington Building on Pacific Avenue, as many of my coworkers did.
Let’s hope we’ve all learned from this quake, because experts say this wasn’t the “big one” they predict will strike one day.