Blog Master G

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Virginia Earthquake Rocked Saratoga Springs

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Yesterday at 1:51 PM Eastern Time, while on the phone with a customer in New York City, my office — and my whole house — in Saratoga Springs began to shake. And shake.

At the time, my friend Ken was down in the basement crawl space installing a ventilation system for our new dryer, which had involved chipping away part of the foundation near a hole in the kitchen floor that leads to our dryer. So my immediate reaction was, “Woah, what’s Ken doing down there?” Then Jen came running down from upstairs and said, “Are we having an earthquake?!”

Yes, we were – a magnitude 5.8 quake with the epicenter near Mineral, Virginia.

But it didn’t seem like it could possibly be an earthquake — especially in Saratoga Springs, NY (despite the fault line that runs through town here). It never does.

Jen and I quickly turned to the Internet to confirm, and watched as Facebook and Twitter exploded with comments from friends and others up and down the East Coast, including some reports from as far west as Ohio.

I grew up in California and lived in San Francisco before moving east, so I’ve experienced my fair share of earthquakes — including the last Big One in 1989 (Loma Prieta in SF, which I felt 90 miles away in Sacramento). And I have to say yesterday’s was one of the stronger quakes I’ve felt (circa 2000 in SF there was a sizable one, too, when we were living there). Yesterday I looked around my home office and literally saw the walls moving back and forth, my marathon bibs and medals swaying to and fro.

Plenty of people are saying things to belittle yesterday’s quake, but I’m here to tell you it was no small potato if we could feel it 504 miles from the epicenter. It may not have caused much damage or too many injuries, thankfully, but it was noteworthy. And pretty darn rare for this coast, which caused the earth to shake even more since it does so less frequently here.

Tags: saratoga springs

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Suzanne // Aug 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Gabe – Glad to get an accounting from someone who has felt several California earthquakes.
    I was amazed by the breadth of the quake–from Virginia up to Toronto! That 30 secnds must have felt like an enteritity. Stella and Happy must have been wondering what was going on beneath their paws.

  • 2 Blog Master G // Aug 25, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Yeah, surprisingly Stella and Happy didn’t seem to be bothered – or at least that I noticed!