Earthquakes shake up county residents
Monday, 13 May 2013 04:51
by Beecher Threatt
Two small earthquakes centered east of Ridgway Reservoir shook up residents in the early morning of Thursday, May 2. The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the quakes occurred at 7:11 a.m. and 7:16 a.m.
"I felt it more from the roof than from the floor," said Sue Husch, who lives just off County Road 12. She said others reported the jolt came from the top also.
At 8:01 a.m. a WENS alert from the sheriff's office reported an "unconfirmed" earthquake in the Log Hill area. At 9:03 a.m., the WENS alert said "USGS confirms a 2l6 earthquake centered near the Ridgway Reservoir."
The USGS website reports both quakes were 14 miles north northwest of Ouray (one saying just "north") at a depth of 3.1 miles. The epicenter was near CR 12, about a mile east of the reservoir. The first quake measured 2.9 magnitude and the second was 2.7. On its reporting site, USGS received 14 reports from individuals on the first quake and 10 on the second, with an average report of weak and no damage.
Keri Gaddis, who lives on County Road 12, said she heard a bang, "like someone jumped up and down really hard." Gaddis is from California, so the first thing she thought was "earthquake."
Engineer Chris Haaland was having breakfast with his family. "Being on the second floor exaggerated the shake and sway," Haaland reported. "As a structural engineer I'm occasionally looking at seismic issues so it was interesting to actually feel my own house shake in Ridgway of all places."
Julia Johnson's home is east of the lower switchback of County Road 1 coming down from Log Hill. "I ran to the front door to see if a semi had driven into my house," Johnson said.
Others who emailed the Plaindealer said they felt the quakes on County Road 1C and at the intersection of County Roads 1 and 22.
The earthquakes demonstrated the advisability of residents signing up for WENS alerts on the county website, ouraycountyco.gov. Alerts can be sent to email addresses or by text to cell phones. Besides earthquakes, recipients get notice of road closures, controlled burns and emergency situations.