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Confusion in Corbin over fake "quake"

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

CORBIN, Ky. (WKYT) - It's been described as an explosion, an earthquake, a thunder roll, or even as small as a car crash. Some say there was one tremor, others say two, one resident said they felt three violent shakes, and yet some say they didn't feel anything at all.

While the reports vary, the reality is something rattled Corbin around midday on Wednesday.

"Just a couple of seconds, it didn't last long," described Christopher Day, "I thought it was thunder and I looked up in the sky and, of course, it was sunny and cold out. It couldn't be thunder."

But Day wasn't the only one to feel it, Deanna Rains said dishes began falling into her sink.

"I actually had my coffee pot break from my refrigerator," said Rains, "I was thinking oh my god, is my trailer going to fall apart? Or is the ground going to split open or something? I mean it was horrible!"

The Whitley County 911 Call Center made a map estimating the locations of callers to 911 centers in their county as well as in Laurel, Knox and McCreary counties. The tremors were that widespread.

"We've yet to determine what this was. It sounded like a minor earthquake, but we can't get it verified," answered Sheriff Colan Harrell.

So, was it an earthquake? If anyone would know it'd be the UK Geological Survey.

"I took a look through our records and so far I haven't seen anything that does not look uncharacteristic. There's a of activity but that's normal," explained Seth Carpenter, adding he believes it was likely a mine blast on the surface level, and did not register on their seismology readouts.

So was it an explosion?

I called several mining companies to see if they were blasting in the area that could explain the shaking. They all denied it, saying their blasts are typically smaller and kept to a mile-wide radius.

Danny Moses, the Whitley County Emergency Management Director, said he began trying to solve the mystery as soon as it happened. He checked every possible blasting site, and said he still had not found the answer.

So the mystery continues.

"There could also be something else going on," estimated Carpenter.

"I still have no idea. It was definitely something," stated Day.

Moses said he has not found any major damage to the area. Still, those who felt the tremors want answers, but for now they'll have to wait.


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