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Did you feel it?

Posted Friday, April 18, 2008, at 7:40 AM

This morning at 4:32 a.m., the region was shaken by a 5.4 earthquake, which (I gather) was NOT caused by the New Madrid fault (good news!). This little nudge from Mother Earth is just another reminder that we are not in control!

Folks in this region have been wondering "What next????!!" after all the ice storms and floods. The FEMA office is still set up in Advance at the KC Hall, so I guess they could have just switched from assessment of flood damages to assessment of earthquake damage, if necessary!

When it happened, I had just gotten back to sleep, after waking up at my customary 3 a.m., looking at my electric clock, which was blinking 9:40, and getting up to reset it. Power was off for 30 minutes, for some reason...

Anyway, I thought the cats had somehow gotten out of the laundry room, where I have to lock them up at night for this very reason. I'm a light sleeper, and I'll feel them if they jump up on the bed...

The first year my husband and I were in Fairbanks, Alaska, we were shocked by the frequency of earthquakes more serious than a 5.4. One day in our first summer, my husband came home for lunch, parked his company truck out front of the house, and came in just before an earthquake hit. I was standing in the kitchen and could see his truck bouncing like a toy, while the ground beneath it was UNDULATING like waves on the ocean!!! I never knew the ground could do that - especially without causing any more damage than it did. This was in 1969, about four years after Alaska's major earthquake - so it was pretty scarey.

We, as Missourians who have suffered from a most unusual spring, can only hold our breaths and truly ask ourselves...."What next???"

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Well...I sure didn't feel it. Though I may have subconciously wondered why I now had a vibrating bed. We can't find a frame for my bed, so my mattress and box spring sits on the floor...I'm just a heavy sleeper. Plus I'm on Crowley's Ridge...so it may not have been too bad up here. Not sure how that works.

I remember when I was 10, in 1990, when Nostradomus had predicted that big earthquake on December 3rd. Everyone had their t-shirts that said "I'm leaving" or "I'm staying." We did end up having one, if I remember correctly. It just wasn't of the magnitude he originally predicted. Wow...could you imagine being able to predict stuff like that? I just wonder what other predictions he had for around here...like this spring, for instance.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 9:17 AM

This may sound weird...but has the news said anything about aftershocks or New Madrid fault having any movement? I felt something around 10:30 this morning. I doubt it was paranoia, as I hadn't really given this other earthquake thing much thought. I was sitting in my computer chair, with my feet propped up on my bookshelf, and my chair started swirling, the knick-knacks on my entertainment center started clanking together (like they do when someone walks by it), and my salt shaker was clinking against the pepper can in the kitchen. I will swear by it, though I'm not sure what it was. I was the only one in the house. There were no other humans or animals on this foundation whatsoever. Maybe I'm subconciously worried about "what's next."

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 11:56 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
It wasn't your imagination, mrsdolphin. There was an after-shock at 10:15 or so. I didn't feel that one, though I definitely did feel the first one. Corey's story on the topic gives more information, and it seems that there were several after shocks. No movement so far on the New Madrid fault, at least that I've heard of.

About 4:30am, I was headed for the garage to my car. Our dog had the strangest look and would not leave the back porch which is very unusual for him. They say that animals sense things like earthquakes before they happen, and I believe it. I didn't feel the quake because, by that time I was driving to work.

When we lived in southern California, we felt quakes many times. There's nothing like the feeling of an earthquake while driving on the freeway!

-- Posted by swift on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 4:42 PM

MD, you have a steel trap memory. Yes, the quakes in Fairbanks seemed to undulate instead of shake. You of course recall that the roads outside Fairbanks are all rolling from the frost heaving every spring. During one big quake I was driving, going up and down with the road, and it wasn't until I got where I was going that everyone asked what I thought of the big quake. Huh?? I didn't even notice.

Mrsdolphin, In the late 1970s "We Are The Earthquake Generation" was written by a geophysicist. The book had 18 predictions based on geological data and predictions made by seven psychics. The only prediction set forth in the book that has even remotely come true is increasing weather unpredictability. Among the book's geological data was that the New Madrid fault is the area in the U.S. most prone to a catastrophic earthquake. But there are hazards no matter where one lives, so it isn't worth worrying about.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Apr 18, 2008, at 6:03 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Thanks for the reassuring advice about not worrying, FJGuy, though your assessment of my "steel trap memory" is a bit off kilter! I think my steel trap shut around 1995, and I haven't been able to pry it open since!

I think that animals can definitely sense (or hear?) when things like earthquakes are approaching, swift. We used to be able to predict a big storm's approach by watching a particularly sensitive beagle that we had. Whenever he got a panicked look on his face and headed for the barn, we knew a big weather event was coming. He was never wrong!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Apr 19, 2008, at 8:35 AM

Well, I didn't feel a thing here south of Dexter airport, but then remember, I'm the one taking melatonin every night! I slept like a baby!

I remember an earthquake when I was a kid here in Dexter. The steeple on the First Presbyterian Church had to be modified because of the damage. It was on a Sunday morning. That one was a 4. something but we definitely felt it. Early 60's?

Once in 1989 my husband and I were watching TV on the couch and we both felt a quake at the same time. It seemed to go from west to east and just moved from one end of the couch to the other.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sat, Apr 19, 2008, at 2:00 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I don't remember that earthquake in the early 60's. ...HEY! Is it the one that hit the area on March 3, 1963, by any chance?? I'm NOT KIDDING! There was an earthquake on the day of our WEDDING! We were married in the First Christian Church on West End Boulevard in Cape, but my family was staying with Max and Shorty Dean in Dexter, and my sister says that Max had to hold his recliner down, because it was jumping all over the room. My brother Timmy was in the bathroom on the pot!! (He doesn't read these blogs, so he'll never know I told that on him!)

I was so nervous that day - I don't even remember an earthquake...

Did I hear today that there have been 19 aftershocks since the original one??

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Apr 20, 2008, at 8:45 PM

Madeline, if you were married on a Sunday, that was the one! Wow, Max and Shorty Dean...she was my Rainbows leader and their daughter Sue was someone I admired. He was killed crop dusting, right?

A bit of history back to our "old houses" blog. One of us was wondering about an old funeral home. Yesterday before church (we were EARLY!) we drove around a bit to enjoy spring in Dexter and we were over by the old Central Elementary (now Central Gardens). One street toward the railroad tracks was a big old 2 story white house. My mother-in-law said, "Now that's the old funeral home where Watkins used to be."

-- Posted by lovebooks on Mon, Apr 21, 2008, at 7:27 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Sue was a sweetheart! I think she went into teaching.

Yes, Max wanted to stay in Dexter after Malden Airbase closed (didn't we all??), so he got a job as a crop duster. He was an experienced pilot, but Daddy said that it just showed how very dangerous crop-dusting was.

Haha! I was in Rainbow Girls, too!!

Hmmmm...lovesbooks...I was the one wondering about an old funeral home, but it wasn't that house. I didn't know Watkins was anywhere else besides where it's at now. The house I was wondering about is on Worley Rd. The folks that moved out were supposed to put it on the market for cheap, but no one has seen or heard a thing from them since they packed up and moved to Florida, so it's not even on the market yet.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Mon, Apr 21, 2008, at 1:46 PM

Yep, Mrsdolphin, that house is still there. I need to remind myself to ask a lady at church that lived just around the corner for years. She may know the people that lived there. I wonder why it hasn't gone up for sale yet. Nothing worse than an empty house!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Mon, Apr 21, 2008, at 6:38 PM

I knew Max and Shorty Dean, too. Sue did go into teaching. My mom was friends with Shorty for many years both before and after Max's untimely death. Yes, he was crop dusting and clipped a guy wire with the tip of his wing. What a shame.

-- Posted by Ducky on Tue, Apr 22, 2008, at 12:22 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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