20 Years Ago—The Northridge California Earthquake & the California Conservation Corps

Corpsmembers dismantling a cracked chimney in Santa Clarita.

On January 17, 1994, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake centered in Northridge, shook Southern California.  Within hours, the California Conservation Corps began to mobilize, and had its first crews helping with cleanup work the very next day.

During the peak of the CCC's efforts, more than 500 corpsmembers were dispatched.  They assisted with water distribution, tent cities, Disaster Application Centers, and general debris cleanup, including the dismantling of 315 damaged chimneys.  Oil-spill trained corpsmembers were also needed as the earthquake caused an oil pipeline to rupture.

Several months later, after 170,000 hours of work, the CCC set up its Northridge Earthquake Recovery Corps, funded through the Job Training Partnership Act.  Two hundred local young people were hired from the areas impacted by the quake.

Story Provided by the Charming Staff of the California Conservation Corps