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'Didn't Qualify' 

Editor:

First off, I want to thank you for remembering us here in Rio Dell regarding the Dec. 20 earthquake and the aftershock on Jan. 1 ("Forgotten in Rio Dell," Aug. 31). This was a devastating event in the history of our little town. My home suffered at least $30,000 worth of damage. It looked like someone had picked it up and shook it, and everything was all over the floor, my chimney was broke off below the roof line. My garage doors were torn off the hinges, and everything that I had stored away in the rafters came down upon my cars, knocking a 3 inch hole in one of them on the roof.

It was one of the worst earthquakes in California history, but we did not qualify for FEMA disaster relief. If the same size earthquake would've hit Sacramento, Los Angeles or San Francisco, it would've been a FEMA disaster in a national emergency. Unfortunately, we're only a small town of 3,000 and we didn't qualify for nothing much more than a couple of small level grants and loans.

If you go through Rio Dell, you won't find hardly one chimney that's still standing, all been knocked down, and on my street alone one house is completely off its foundation, and the other house has the entire front of the house laying in the side yard. To anyone who is reading, please call state Sen. Mike McGuire's office and our other elected representatives and reach out to them and see if they can please give us assistance because we are still really hurting. I spent $6,000 out of pocket just to fix my garage doors that have been torn completely off the hinges. Thank you, Humboldt, for being there for us.

Omberto Silva, Rio Dell

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