Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Earthquake in my backyard--practically

I live in the Chicago area so cold weather and lots of snow are the norm during the winter and compared to the East coast we've gotten off easy this season (knock on wood). I think Midwest driver's are some of the best driver's in the country when it comes tooling down the road in snow and ice--doesn’t mean we're immune to accidents, but as a population we seldom panic or change our plans when the weatherman forecasts snow. We bundle up, shovel the drive and head to work and school.

So snow had never been a big deal in my life--I grew up in Wisconsin--plenty of cold and snow there, too. What I'm not used to are earthquakes. On the 9th of this month an earthquake shook the corn fields not far from the development we live in. Around four in the morning the headboard on our bed banged against the wall and our two little yappers sleeping at the bottom of the bed began to whine. I though a plane was going to hit our house. I ran into the hallway just as my two teenagers opened their bedroom doors and asked, "What's going on?" It's difficult to explain how loud the rumble sounded, but you know it was loud if it woke teenagers out of a dead sleep.

I peaked out the windows--all my neighbors we're doing the same thing. I searched the sky for a spiraling plane when my daughter informed me that it was probably an earthquake. She then named the faults that run through Illinois before yawning and returning to bed--smarty pants. Anyway we were fortunate--no cracked walls or broken vases. But I have a new appreciation and sympathy for people who've suffered through much bigger quakes--I can't imagine how frightening those were. My deceased father-in-law survived the famous San Francisco Bay area earthquake back in October 1989.

How about you--have you experienced an earthquake or any wild weather events where you live?

A Cowboy Christmas
Dec 2009
Dexter: Honorable Cowboy July 2010


Leigh Duncan said...

I grew up on Florida's space coast where rocket and shuttle launches are a regular occurrence. The rumble is incredible. Windows shake and sometimes break. When we spent a couple of years in Guam where earthquakes are common, after the first one, I could always tell they were coming because the loud roar was so similar to the ones from the rocket launches. It's something you don't forget.

Marcie said...

When I lived in Florida we had a Tropical Storm - vicious winds.
Then in Ohio, where I am now, a year ago we had the remaining winds of Hurricane Ike. Wind is scary!

Marin Thomas said...

Leigh--I can't imagine hearing rocket launches on a regular basis. You must have had to be really careful with your china, breakable things and pictures hanging on the walls...hmmm, wonder if home owners insurance was higher because of the launches?

Marcie, tornado like winds are always scary, I'm thnakful we haven't had any tornados touch down where we live outside Chicago but we've lost tree limbs and a few roof shingles over the years from bad storms.

Winter said...

I live in North Central IL and we felt it too. It woke me up, but I just thought something had fallen in our boys' room. It must've been the picture banging against the wall that woke me up.

This is the 2nd time in the 7 years we've lived in IL that we've experienced an earthquake. It's kinda weird.

Pamela Stone said...

Marin, I laughed at your driving comments. Texas drivers get so little winter precip, and what we do get is typically ice. Doesn't take much to complete shut us down.

We get it all. A tornado that did major damage to downtown Fort Worth and sections of Arlington a few years ago passed right over our house. Sounded like a freight train. In the spring, we get hail storms, as large as baseball size. When I was young a hailstorm broke all the glass on the north side of our house and destroyed the roof. They demolish cars and keep the roofers in Texas employed on a regular basis.

Estella said...

Have never experiences an earthquake, but live on the Oregon coast, so it could happen.

Marin Thomas said...

Winter--let's hope if we do get another earthquake in Illinois it won't be any bigger than the one earlier this month!

Pamela, we lived in the Dallas Ft. Worth area when that tornado went through Ft. Worth! I remember driving in the area afterward and being shocked at the damage to all the buildings. We lived in Texas 7 years total--Dallas area and Houston and both areas had their wild weather moments. But everything's bigger and better in Texas, right? :-)

Estella--I bet you've experienced some major rains in Oregon, though. Are flash floods common out there?

Linda Henderson said...

I live in Missouri and we have a major faultline that they have been saying for years will have a quake one day. I certainly hope not. My brother lives outside Oklahoma City and they have tremors more often than you might think.

Marin Thomas said...

Hi Linda

I've never heard of Oklahoma City having tremors--makes you wonder if there's any relatively "safe" place to live. Keeping fingers crossed that major fault line continues to behave :-)

Lee McKenzie said...

The Pacific Northwest is very seismically active. I just took a quick look at the geological survey's website, which says there have been just under one hundred quakes in this area in the past month. None of them felt, though. One of the last ones I felt was the Seattle earthquake in 2001.

On the plus side, the cherry blossoms are out, and crocuses and snowdrops have been blooming for weeks ;)

Maryanne said...

Hi Barbara!

My nephew and his wife in a North Chicago suburb and felt the quake too. Michigan experienced a mild earthquake twenty-ish years ago.

donnarose said...

Born and raised in California. Earthquakes drills were a common occurance in grammar school. You better get use to them.