Louisa County was the epicenter of Tuesday’s earthquake, and officials there are now gearing up to assess damage.
As the sun sent in her peaceful, rural neighborhood, Cleolive Cavanaugh sat outside in her Cadillac – contemplating the steering wheel and the shocking experience of an earthquake in Central Virginia. Just before 2 p.m. she was chatting with a girlfriend – making plans for the evening’s church revival:
“I dropped the phone, and you know I just heard all this noise and I went to see what was wrong. Vases, every picture is off the wall. It’s just terrible inside. I saw all of this, oh Lord, have mercy,” she said.
Her prized collections of China and vases were destroyed, and the brick that had covered her tidy home was now in an untidy pile on the ground. Next door, her nephew Ellis Quarrels also saw incredible damage.
“Everything that could fall, fell,” said Ellis.
Police, fire-fighters and emergency medical personnel were busy all afternoon and evening, responding to calls from frightened people. Some thought they were having heart attacks. Others had fallen or suffered head injuries when things fell on them. Even Fire Chief Scott Keim admitted he was caught off guard.
“I was very surprised. When you’re standing up and the floor is moving under you, it’s a surprising event,” said Keim.
–by Sandy Hausman