Maine’s director of elections said when she took a tour of San Francisco last week and learned about the area’s last major earthquake in 1989, she didn’t expect to be in town for the next one, which hit early Sunday.

“It’s something on your mind, but you don’t expect it to happen,” said Melissa Packard, of Unity.

Packard said she was in San Francisco for a conference for election directors. From her hotel near the San Francisco financial district, she could feel the quake, but said there was limited damage in her area.

“It was obvious in other places it was a lot worse,” she said.

Around the epicenter about six miles from Napa, the largest earthquake to hit the area since 1989 caused heavy damage to buildings, sent many people to the hospital, started fires and led to massive power outages.

The earthquake woke her up around 3:20 a.m. Packard said she was staying on the 14th floor and could feel the hotel swaying back and forth.

“I didn’t realize for a couple of seconds what was going on,” she said.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.