Humbodlt Quake Updates: Power Still Out in the Eel River Valley, Fendale Post Office Closed, Boil Water Advisories, California AG Warns Against Price Gouging

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Fernbridge suffered significant damage in the quake and is currently closed to all but emergency vehicles. - TWITTER/CALTRANS
  • Twitter/Caltrans
  • Fernbridge suffered significant damage in the quake and is currently closed to all but emergency vehicles.
Huge swaths of the Eel River Valley remain without power today after taking the brunt of the early morning magnitude-6.4 earthquake that struck just off the coast of Ferndale on Dec. 20.

The latest damage assessments, which are continuing, "show at least 30 residences and one commercial structure have been determined structurally unsafe," according to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services, with damage totals not yet determined.

The number of injured has risen to 17 and two residents
with preexisting conditions died after suffering medical emergencies either during or just after the earthquake.

"Their conditions are believed to have been exacerbated by the stress of the earthquake," the OES states in a release.


The century-old Fernbridge remains closed, OES reports, with crews from Caltrans onsite to conduct repairs.

"There is no estimated time of reopening," OES states. "Residents are encouraged to utilize an alternative route."

State Sen. Mike McGuire announced yesterday that $6 million in state funds have been secured for emergency repairs on the main artery between Ferndale and the outside world.

Meanwhile, the PG&E outage map indicates many areas have an estimated restoration time of 3 p.m. today. Boil water advisories for Rio Dell and parts of Fortuna remain in effect until residents are notified otherwise.

An overnight shelter has been established by the American Red Cross-Gold Country Region in Fortuna at the Rohner Park Firemen’s Pavilion for those in need. Small animals can be housed there as well.

The shelter, located at 9 Park Street, is providing accommodations, meals, water, charging of electronics and earthquake information. For more details, contact (707) 506-5083.

Humboldt County OES states about 3,400 Rio Dell residents remain without water.

Affected Fortuna areas include: Forest Hills Drive, Newell Drive, Valley View Drive, Boyden Lane, Scenic Drive, and Cypress Loop Road. Find more information here.

Potable water is available at the following locations: Rio Dell Fire Hall, 50 West Center St. in Rio Dell and Rohner Park Pavilion, 9 Park St. in Fortuna. Residents are asked to bring a clean container at 5 gallons max.

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal and Gov. Gavin Newsom have both issued states of emergencies for the region, as have the cities of Rio Dell and Eureka.

The Ferndale Post Office is currently closed due to safety concerns and local residents who receive their mail there or need postal services are being directed to the Rio Dell Post Office on Wildwood Avenue.

North Coast Congressmember Jared Huffman in a Facebook post today directed those having issues receiving their mail to contact staff at his Third Street Eureka office, which can be reached at (707) 407-3585. Post office hours for retail are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and drop shipment hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Meanwhile, California Attorney General Rob Bonta has issued a consumer alert in the wake of the governor's declaration of a state of emergency and noted that price gouging, which is generally defined as charging a price that exceeds by more than 10 percent what an item cost before the declaration, is illegal under state law.

“My heart goes out to residents and local business owners in Ferndale, Rio Dell, and the surrounding community as they grapple with the damage caused by yesterday’s earthquake and the nearly one hundred aftershocks that followed,” he said in a statement. “It will be a while before we know the full extent of the damage, but as Humboldt County begins to recover, I want to remind residents and businesses that price gouging during a state of emergency is illegal. If you see businesses raising the price of food, gas, or other emergency supplies, report it to your local authorities or to my office at oag.ca.gov/report.”

The Northern California Indian Development Council is accepting applications from eligible Native residents in need of assistance following the quake. According to a news release, the NCIDC can help with the cost of needs such as repairs for hot water tank and heating system or related issues due to damage. The council is also offering food assistance and other help based on an as-need and eligible basis. NCIDC’s online intake is available at intake.ncidc.org or those eligible can call (707) 445-8451 or toll free at (800) 566-2381) and ask for emergency services.

From the OES:

DONATIONS

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services is not currently accepting material donations. Please do not drop off donations at the Firemen’s Pavilion. To make a financial donation, please contact: Pay it Forward Humboldt: 707-616-9191, payitforwardhumboldt@gmail.com American Red Cross: 1-800-435-7669, redcross.org

REPORT DAMAGES

Residents are encouraged to report earthquake damages to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services at: https://humboldtgov.org/FormCenter/Office-of-Emergency-Services-23/Damage-Report-20221220-Earthquake-216


FOR MORE INFORMATION

For updated information regarding the Humboldt County earthquake response, please go to humboldtsheriff.org/emergency and visit @HumCoOES on Facebook and Twitter, or call 707-268-2500.


Editor's note: This information is being updated as it comes becomes available. Please check back for new details.

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