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Napa County officials scrambled Tuesday to address a growing raft of problems stemming from Sunday’s earthquake, even as predawn aftershocks offered a jarring reminder that immediate dangers have not yet passed.

The number of people forced from their quake-damaged homes increased Tuesday, as did the number of people without water. Overflowing debris bins were the most glaring examples of concerns about the county’s battered government structure’s ability to address short- and long-term issues wrought by the magnitude-6.0 temblor.

Government officials expressed confidence the region will qualify for federal assistance once they submit the application, which hinges upon a damage assessment that had yet to be finalized as of late Tuesday. But that aid — which could include access to low-interest loans — isn’t likely to come fast enough for people whose lives have been upended because of damage to their businesses and homes.

“The frustration is understandable, given what happened,” Napa City Councilman Alfredo Pedroza said. “The first (question) was, ‘Are we safe?’ But now it’s where the rubber meets the road and what services are available.”

The earthquake damaged numerous city and county government buildings, forcing officials to move offices, employees and services just so basic government functions can continue. Damage to the county’s administration building forced supervisors to move to the Sheriff’s Office south of town and to conduct future meetings at the offices of the transportation authority.

The county jail was slapped with a yellow tag restricting access, including a temporary halt to jail visitations, according to Supervisor Mark Luce, the board’s chairman. He said the county’s clerk had to move out of her office into a conference room and that probation officers were conducting business outside the Hall of Justice.

Luce said officials also are speeding up moving Health and Human Services employees to a new facility south of Napa, a move that already was planned prior to Sunday’s quake.

“Those are the kinds of make-shift things we’re having to do until we get people into more permanent facilities,” Luce said.

Nevertheless, he said he was “confident” county officials are “meeting basic needs.”

He also expressed confidence the region will meet the $51 million threshold in structural damages needed to qualify for federal aid. Luce said the county was still waiting on damage assessments from wineries and other entities Tuesday in order to complete the application.

Even then, such aid is not guaranteed. Last year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Gov. Jerry Brown’s request for aid after the Rim Fire scorched about 400 square miles on the edge of Yosemite National Park. But the state appealed the decision, and the Obama administration reversed the decision.

“It’s a political process. There’s a lot of partisanship,” Luce said. “Hopefully, we don’t get caught in that snag.”

More immediate concerns for government officials Tuesday included a backlog of 800 people in Napa who had requested building inspections. Napa City Manager Mike Parness said that residents who had earthquake damage that posed a threat to their health and safety could expect a visit from the city within hours.

“But if it’s, ‘Hey, I have a crack in my drywall,’ it may be two or three weeks,” Parness told council members prior to the panel voting for a resolution extending the local emergency.

Parness reported that more than 600 homes and commercial buildings in the city have been red- or yellow-tagged. Of those, about 120 were hit with red tags, which mean a structure is too dangerous to enter. A less severe yellow tag allows limited access to a building.

One red tag was slapped near a common entrance to an apartment complex on Franklin and Third streets Tuesday morning. The document noted that people were prohibited from entering because of the risk of dying.

That didn’t stop numerous residents from going inside Tuesday to retrieve belongings.

Auzi Bellamy, 24, was in the process of moving out completely. She said she was so traumatized by Sunday’s quake that all she could think about was moving back into her parents’ home in Hayward. Tuesday, the family loaded Bellamy’s belongings into a rented U-Haul.

Cameron Smith said he was saddened to have to leave his home. “It’s basically my first apartment after I got out of college. It’s my place.”

He and other residents expressed doubts about being able to find another apartment in Napa for under $1,000 a month, as was the case at the Franklin Street complex. One man who gave his name as Pete said a number of apartment managers he called Tuesday reported they had no vacancies.

Parness said that the number of people seeking overnight shelter at a Napa church grew to 18, 10 more than on Sunday night.

Access to water continued to be a problem for thousands of Napa residents Tuesday. Parness reported that about 640 residential and commercial water customers were in their third day without water as repair crews struggled with pipe repairs.

On Solano Avenue in west Napa on Tuesday, a public works crew from the city of Fairfield blasted into the closed street with jackhammers to repair a water-pipe break. The six-member crew has been pulling 12-hour shifts since Monday, said Pete Brooks, a senior utility worker.

He said when crews repair a leak and then repressurize the system, they often discover another leak nearby, forcing them to return to the same location.

“It just starts falling apart because it’s old cast-iron pipe,” he said.

Parness reported about 120 broken pipes as of Tuesday, a number that has grown each day since the earthquake.

JeAnne Miller said she and her family finally couldn’t take not having water anymore and Monday night rented a hotel room in Napa for $119 just so family members could get showers.

But Tuesday morning, she and her daughter Kelsey were back at an emergency aid station at the Las Flores Community Center on Linda Vista Avenue, filling buckets with water so they could flush their toilets.

Despite the challenges, Miller said she felt “totally lucky as hell that nobody got hurt.”

Residents of an Orchard Avenue seniors mobile home park also expressed gratitude after their water was restored Tuesday morning. The park was among the hardest hit Sunday when the earthquake apparently ruptured a gas line and fire ripped through the area and destroyed four homes.

“I got up this morning and jumped into that cold shower and loved it,” resident George Alvarez said. He also expressed gratitude for the Salvation Army, which again served meals Tuesday morning.

City officials also scrambled Tuesday to deal with an overflow of debris at several sites, including at schools, where mounds of discarded TVs, broken glass and other trash cascaded around receptacles.

School officials issued a public plea for people to quit dropping off stuff and the city later ordered the sites to be shut down. Officials also brought in outside help to assist in the cleanup.

On the positive side, all but one of the 30-plus campuses in the Napa Valley Unified School District were scheduled to reopen Wednesday, ending a two-day closure while the district’s campuses were evaluated for earthquake damage.

“Our schools are safe and we want to welcome students back. We are fully aware this has been an upsetting event for our community,” said Elizabeth Emmett, district spokeswoman.

Emmett said school administrators have been asked to review emergency plans with students Wednesday. But she said whether that includes earthquake drills will be left up to each school.

“Knowledge is power,” Emmett said. “With that in mind, we just want students to know what to do in an emergency.”

Tuesday’s aftershocks were a reminder of the need for that planning.

The first, magnitude 3.9, struck at 5:33 a.m. and was followed by several more.

“I’m, like, already on edge. My heart just dropped,” said Michele Lemieux as she dropped off her two sons, ages 13 and 11, Tuesday morning at the Las Flores Community Center. The center was opened for a second day as a makeshift day care site because of school closures.

Lemieux said her oldest was especially bothered by the quakes.

“He’s trying to act like it’s not bothering him, but I’m saying to him it’s a natural disaster and that it’s OK to feel how he feels,” she said. “You don’t need to be embarrassed.”

You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.

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