Rare earthquake shakes North Carolina – how it could affect you

Rare earthquake shakes North Carolina – how it could affect you

The largest earthquake in North Carolina in more than 100 years had a lot of people shook up Sunday morning.

According to the U.S. Geological Service, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake hit early Aug. 9 just outside Sparta near the North Carolina-Virginia border. In the immediate area, structural damage to buildings and homes displaced residents. Reports also noted cracks in roads and fallen chimneys. Farther from the center of the quake, damage was less significant, and there were no injuries.

Larger concerns such as damage to area dams remain up in the air. WithersRavenel’s stormwater engineers work with the North Carolina Dam Safety Program to assess dams throughout the state. A division of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the safety program provides “for the certification and inspection of dams to reduce the risk of failure of dams; to prevent property damage, personal injury, and loss of reservoir storage; and to ensure maintenance of minimum flows of adequate quantity and quality below dams,” according to DEQ’s website. Particularly, WithersRavenel engineers prepare inundation mapping in support of Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for high hazard dams that help owners/operators prepare for potential dam failures, in case of flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes or other disasters.

Meanwhile, North Carolina residents as far away as the Triangle, Asheville and the coast reported feeling movement during the earthquake. Even in Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and other Eastern cities, some people reported light tremors. If you felt the earth move, click here to fill out a report for the USGS. Keep in mind that aftershocks in the coming days are possible.

If you have a dam on your property and would like WithersRavenel’s stormwater engineers to check it out, contact Ross Perry at (919) 238-0336 or rperry@withersravenel.com.