Nisqually Earthquake, 10 Years and Counting: Where Were You When the Earth Shook?

On Feb. 28, 2001, I was not in Seattle. I was in Phoenix, where if you see the earth shake it's usually just a mirage on the horizon. I was 18, not a year out of high school and avoiding college for the time being by working at America West Airlines (since absorbed by US Airways) and enjoying flight benefits to travel to places like San Francisco, Portland, L.A., Miami, and Amsterdam. Dragging myself out of bed at 6 a.m. I'd gone to my job as a refund clerk, which consisted of about 40 percent auditing refund applications and 60 percent goofing around on the Internet. At some point in the afternoon, I remember the first news reports coming across on my computer screen: "6.9 Earthquake Rocks Seattle." I recall thinking: "Seattle? I hear that place is awesome. I should fly there." Three weeks later I did.

Now I live here. And I've already heard a multitude of tales about where people were when the big one hit. Some were downtown broadcasting the news on KUOW, others were hiding in doorways with their children, and some were the children, stuck in a fourth-grade classroom where the teacher told them all it was a drill.

Thus the inevitable question: Where were you when Nisqually Quaked?

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