Digging Out, Looking Back

One year after the killer quake, the San Francisco area is still repairing the damage -- and facing big bills

On top of San Francisco's landmark Ferry Building last week, steeplejack Jody Mancuso eased herself carefully to the tip of a new white flagpole and crowned it with the same gold-painted sphere that was knocked wildly askew on Oct. 17, 1989, by the strongest earthquake to strike the city since 1906. This week the American flag will be hoisted there once again, to mark the anniversary of last year's temblor, which registered 7.1 on the Richter scale, killed 63 people, injured 3,757 others and caused at least $6 billion in damage.

Reconstruction has been slowed by bureaucratic delays and seemingly endless...

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