In Weitchpec, six miles from the epicenter, folks were taking the 5.6 quake in stride -- although there were unofficial reports of "crazy people and dogs howling" long minutes after the earth quit shaking.
At Pearson's Grocery in Weitchpec, Karen Pearson said the quake knocked the pictures askew on the walls and tumbled some stuff off of shelves, but nothing broke. She said the Caltrans crew was in the store, though, and had just traveled through the Hoopa Bluffs -- a narrow, high-above-the-river gouge in the cliffs that Highway 96 runs through.
"Tony's still here," Pearson said. "You want to talk to him?"
Antonio Alvarez, supervisor of Caltrans' Orleans road crew, said on the phone that when he and his crew got to the bluffs they just saw a small bunch of rocks that they easily cleared.
"We continued on and it got worse; there were rocks every where," he said. At Milepost 16.97 they came upon a line of cars stopped, unable to move forward. "Four yards of rocks, across all lanes."
Nobody was hit by falling rocks, and the mess was plowed aside. Now, the crew's rest-of-the-day is laid out for them -- checking every single bridge over every single creek and river, as is required after a quake.
Scott Burger, a Caltrans spokesperson, said his agency has received no reports of road closures elsewhere.
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