- Associated Press - Sunday, August 24, 2014

NAPA, Calif. (AP) - This is what Associated Press reporters on the scene are learning following the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years:

5:43 p.m. PDT

State and local roads leading to wineries south of Napa, around the community of Carneros, we’re closer to the quake’s suspected origin and showed more damage than elsewhere. By the middle of the afternoon, road crews had patched a section of state Highway 121 where the roadbed had shifted, cracking open the surface. Nearby, crews repaired a local road where the roadbed had dropped several inches.

Off that road, vintner Richard Ward of Saintsbury winery oversaw workers righting giant toppled barrels and rescuing a 500-pound grape de-stemmer that the quake had thrown to the ground.

“That’s what happens when you’re a mile from the epicenter,” he said, turning to point toward hills where the quake apparently started.

Ward lost 300 to 400 bottles in the winery’s basement. The grape harvest was supposed to have started overnight tonight, but would now be pushed off a few days, he said. Had the harvest started last night, the quake would have caught the workers in the wine buildings, with the heavy barrels, when it struck, Ward said.

5:23 p.m. PDT

Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said at a news conference late Sunday afternoon that the situation had stabilized.

By midday, officials had a good sense that the fires were out and power was starting to be restored. “While it was bad, it wasn’t as bad as it could be and it was very manageable from a regional perspective,” he said.

Ghilarducci said about 90 to 100 homes were deemed not habitable. He said the next step was to continue damage assessments and get a cost estimate for potential federal assistance.

Aftershocks were expected to continue for several weeks, though State Geologist John Parrish said they would decrease in magnitude and it was unlikely that there would be a large follow-up earthquake. Still, he warned people to be careful because buildings that were damaged by the quake were now more susceptible to collapse from aftershocks.

5 p.m. PDT

Pacific Gas and Electric has lowered the pressure on its Sonoma-to-Napa gas line and is monitoring all gas outlets for leaks, spokesman Jeff Smith said. The company has so far received 439 complaint calls about gas odors and has cut off gas to about 20 customers because of damaged equipment, Smith said. Anyone with concerns about a gas leak may call the company at 800-743-5002, he said.

As of 5 p.m., about 7,300 electricity customers are without power, he said.

3:33 p.m. PDT

Story Continues →