In Apr. 24-30 issue By Derek Aaron & Cody York Times Journal Reporter & Intern
RUSSELL SPRINGS - Many people across Russell County were awakened suddenly by an earthquake that rattled and shook homes across the region last Friday morning.
"I woke up and thought someone had come into my room because I'm a light sleeper," said Glenda York at Russell County Library. "But when I saw these huge, knee-high cement lions I have on my dresser start to shake, I knew it was an earthquake."
The 5.2-magnitude quake, which has since caused more than 20 aftershocks, occurred around 4:36 a.m. and was centered six miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles from Evansville, Ind. according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Reports by various media outlets say the earthquake's tremors were felt by people as far as 900 miles from its epicenter and felt as north as Ontario, Canada and as far south as Niceville, Fla.
Michael Asche, a student, said the earthquake woke him from his slumber.
"I woke up and felt a jar and saw my dresser shaking," he said. "I just figured it was a storm so I went back to bed thinking I would sleep it off."
The earthquake, which took place in the Wabash Valley fault zone in southern Illinois, even prompted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to investigate all dams in the Cumberland River watershed, according to Corps' Public Affairs spokesperson Ed Evans.
"They have found nothing amiss," Evans said, noting that the Corps has emergency plans already in place should there be any problems caused by earthquakes.
"We take these things seriously, and our folks have been out looking." Evans noted that the closest Cumberland River dam to the quake's epicenter was Barkley Dam, which impounds Lake Barkley, and that no problems were found there. Neither have any problems been found due to the quake at Wolf Creek Dam, which impounds Lake Cumberland, Evans said.
Russell Countian Steven Fairchild said the shaking caused some disruption in his house.
"It shook my whole house, knocking over my CD player and HDTV," he said. "It was pretty bad."
Not everyone, though, felt the ground rumbling beneath them on Friday. "I didn't feel it at all or even wake up," said Ken Reese at Movie Time. "I didn't know about it until I seen it on the news the next day."
Harold Aarons said he also slept right through it and didn't even feel a thing.
The Wabash Valley fault zone lies in Southern Illinois and is a lesser-known earthquake-producing fault system than the New Madrid fault zone of Southern Missouri.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629