August 23, 2011
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit just a few miles southwest of the Town of Mineral in Louisa County at 1:51pm Tuesday, sending many residents into shock.
“It just took my breath away and I just started crying, that's all,” said Jean Brunson.
Jean and her husband Lamar never thought it would happen so close to home. The epicenter of Tuesday's quake was just miles from their home on Shannon Hill Road. The damage is still visible.
“The glassware and the cabinets were knock over, the pictures are off the wall and the furniture's all turned over,” she said.
Louisa County is reporting no deaths or serious injuries in the aftermath of the quake, and only two homes were destroyed. Fire Chief Scott Keim believes the county was as prepared as they could have been for such a surprising event.
“When you stand up and the floor is moving under you, it's a surprise,” he said. “For the amount of people we have to staff and the amount of staff we have in general, I think the county is as prepared as we could be.”
Officials with Louisa County Public Schools tell CBS19 all schools in the district were damaged, but the extent is not know at this time. To provide ample time for safety inspections and necessary repairs, Louisa County Schools will be closed to students and teachers until Tuesday, Sept. 6.
For the Brunson family, the shock is still setting in.
“I thought we made a home for retirement. It has a lot of damage, far more than I could ever dream. I just can't imagine fixing it. I don't even know if most of the house is fixable,” said Jean.
Just like the Brunsons, Louisa County officials are assessing the damage and wondering what the next step will be.
“We're waiting to see the assessments. Obviously, for us to survive it will probably take state and federal money to help us out,” said Willie Gentry, a member of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors.
At one point, 3,000 Louisa residents were without power, but that number has been reduced to only a handful, if any at all.