Monday, May 18, 2009

The Day The Earth Shook

I must say, Saturday was quite an interesting day at the station. From flash flooding, to severe thunderstorms, and even an earthquake - it was busy!

My day started around 3:30am when my alarm went off. I try to get to WDBJ around 4:00am on Saturday to get ready for the show. Knowing I would be rolling in around 4:15am, I called my producer (Jamey) just to let him know I was up and would be there soon. As soon as he answered the phone, I could hear every line in the newsroom ringing. I asked what was going on, and he told me viewers were calling the newsroom saying they had felt an earthquake. I knew it was going to be a long day. I told Jamey I'd be at the station in a few minutes. Upon arriving, I logged on the USGS website an instantly saw in fact there had been a minor earthquake. Jamey and I prepared for a live cut-in and within a few minutes, we were on the air reporting on the tremor. It must have worked, because after the cut-in, the phones stopped ringing!

After reading over 27 pages of viewer posts on, I think the one thing that stands out in my mind is how many people didn't know Virginia can have earthquakes. A quick search on the internet will reveal that our state has had many earthquakes in our history. In fact, the strongest earthquake in Virginia occurred in the NEWS7 viewing area, in Giles County, in 1897 with a magnitude of 5.8. Even that quake caused little to no damage.

At least now a whole lot more people know first-hand we can have earthquakes in Virginia; and while Saturday morning's focus was on the movement of the earth, I had to quickly turn my efforts to severe storms and flooding by the afternoon! Needless to say, it was a busy day!