Researchers Use Drones to Examine Quake Damage to Napa's Historic Sites

Researchers from UC San Diego's structural engineering department are using drones to capture unique views of the earthquake damage to Napa's historic landmarks.

The team is using the images to generate 3D models of the sites.

"As tragic as this seismic event this earthquake was, it is also a very powerful learning tool which allows us to study how buildings have responded to the ground shaking -- how they've been damaged," said Falko Kuester, a structural engineering professor at UC San Diego.

The Trifethen Family Vineyard's tasting room was one of Napa's historic buildings that took a big hit during the Aug. 24 quake.

The Trifethen family said the images the drone capture will help them figure out the best approach to take as they rebuild and retrofit.

"So we can really get a good sense of what's happened to the building," Hailey Trefethen said. "We're doing everything we can first things first to stabilize it -- but we're really hoping. We have high hopes to be able to restore it."

Researchers said they hope the working being done will lead to a better understanding of how to retrofit historic sites to withstand the next big temblor.

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