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Officials say cleanup of Calif. quake shouldn't deter tourists

NAPA, Calif. — The earthquake that jarred California's wine capital caused $1 billion in damage, Napa County officials estimated Monday as business owners mopped up high-end vintages that spilled from barrels and bottles, and swept away broken glass in the rush to get the tourist hot spot back in shape for the summer's final holiday weekend.

With the dust still settling from Sunday's magnitude-6.0 temblor centered near the city of Napa, government and tourism officials assessing its economic and structural impact encouraged visitors to keep flocking to the charming towns, tasting rooms, restaurants and spas that drive the Napa Valley economy.

While cleanup will take time and broken water mains remained a problem, they said, the worst damage and disruption was confined to the city's downtown, where a post office, a library and a 141-room hotel were among 150 homes and buildings deemed unsafe to occupy.

The strongest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in a quarter-century also caused more than 100 mostly minor injuries, triggered fires that destroyed or damaged six mobile homes, and ruptured gas lines.

"Clearly, we are concerned that people are going to see that it was a catastrophe, and it certainly wasn't good, but it wasn't a catastrophe by any means," Clay Gregory, president of tourism organization Visit Napa Valley. "The real story is that it has impacted a very small part of the valley."

Ron Peralez, of Vacaville, Calif., sits on rubble and looks at earthquake-damaged buildings Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. The San Francisco Bay Area's strongest earthquake in 25 years struck the heart of California's wine country early Sunday, igniting gas-fed fires, damaging some of the region's famed wineries and historic buildings, and sending dozens of people to hospitals. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) CAER101

Ron Peralez, of Vacaville, Calif., sits on rubble and looks at earthquake-damaged buildings Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Napa, Calif. The San Francisco Bay Area's strongest earthquake in 25 years struck the heart of California's wine country early Sunday, igniting gas-fed fires, damaging some of the region's famed wineries and historic buildings, and sending dozens of people to hospitals. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) CAER101

Officials say cleanup of Calif. quake shouldn't deter tourists 08/25/14 [Last modified: Monday, August 25, 2014 11:21pm]
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