Worthington native: Quake was intenseMINERAL, Va. — Worthington native Jennifer (Behrens) Nelson was in her yard cutting the rose hedge when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday. The epicenter was determined to be near Mineral, Va., where Nelson has lived since 2002.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
MINERAL, Va. — Worthington native Jennifer (Behrens) Nelson was in her yard cutting the rose hedge when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday. The epicenter was determined to be near Mineral, Va., where Nelson has lived since 2002.
“It was kind of like underground rolling thunder,” Nelson said Tuesday night, just moments after another aftershock rocked her and husband William’s home.
Nelson knew immediately it was an earthquake because she had experienced them while visiting family in California when she was a child. She had just never experienced an earthquake as intense as the one that struck Virginia on Tuesday. According to stories published by The Associated Press, Tuesday’s quake was the strongest ever recorded on the East Coast.
It was so strong that Nelson’s home suffered cracks in the drywall, pictures were knocked from the walls, cupboard doors flew open and dishes fell out and broke as they hit the counter and the floor.
“It was amazing,” she said. “Just about every drawer, whether it was kitchen or a dresser drawer, was opened to some degree. Picture frames, a lot moved and others were not moved at all. That was kind of eerie.”
Even the full-size refrigerator was rocked out of its normal spot.
“It was kind of like an earth Etch-A-Sketch — it shook things in a different way,” Nelson described. “It was probably one of the most amazing underground shakes I’ve ever (witnessed) in my life.”
Power was lost in the region when the quake struck, and wasn’t restored until about 3:15 p.m. EDT. Even then, it was impossible to use the phones because the lines were jammed, she said.
Later Tuesday afternoon, Nelson was able to reach her mom, Marianne Behrens of Worthington, to let her know she was OK.
Nelson is a 1975 graduate of Worthington High School, and has lived in Virginia since 1978. This was the first time she’d experienced an earthquake since moving to the East Coast.
Though she works with Mineral’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERTs), Nelson was not called out to assist with the response following the earthquake.
“I think that the community of Mineral had an amazing response — the school systems, everything responded,” she said. “I can’t believe how well the CERTs teams, the Sheriff’s teams, all responded well together. They did a phenomenal job today.”