The Earthquake

I live relatively close to where the earthquake hit early this morning near Buffalo City.

As some of you now know, I’ve lived in the town of Norfork for about the last 18 months. I’m often in Fayetteville. I stay with daughter Sarah on the west side of town.

We live on a ridge above the Norfork River on some acreage near our other daughter, Becca, and her husband, Kristopher Bouldin. You go east on River Ridge road off of Highway 5, then take a gravel road north into our sub division. There are seven houses on about 80 acres. We live on Old Farm Trail, which splits off Old Farm Place.

We are inside the city limits of Norfork, population 511. We are on a gravel road that is about midway on the Norfork River in the heart of the catch and release section. We are not directly on the river, but close and have river access because of good friends T.L. Lauerman, Borum Cooper and Wayne Reed.

Buffalo City is where the Buffalo River meets the White River. It’s about 8 miles up river from the confluence of the White and the Norfork rivers where we are at. It might be less than 7 miles from my house by how the crow flies. It might take me 15 minutes to get there.

The earthquake was magnitude 3.7 and shook the houses on our road rather violently. There was a loud explosion type sound. I figure that was a tree snapping. We live in the woods on the ridge above the river. There are tall pines, massive oaks and many other hard woods, along with lots of dogwood and red buds. We have two oaks on our property that we describe as Harry Potter trees. They must be 250 yards old, maybe more. Our house is down our own gravel driveway in a small opening carved out of the woods.

Others heard explosive sounds. Again, I figure that’s trees. But the part that unsettled most of us was the rattling of windows and dishes. I don’t know what I heard, but I found myself up out of bed and looking outside on the porch. I saw deer about 20 yards away, really close to my azaleas planted last spring. I shooed them away and went back to bed. I wasn’t sure what was going on that point.

It wasn’t until this morning that I knew when I got a text from Scottie Bordelon a few minutes before 7 a.m. and asked how we made it through the earthquake. That’s when I knew what had gotten me up a little before 2 a.m.

We don’t have any damage that I can find. Pictures are still on the wall.

I’ve got friends who say there dogs barked. I don’t know that ours did, but I’m not sure. I sleep soundly.

I live in Fayetteville and I was awakened by something that shook my house in the early morning. I heard it, thought it was the wind, sounding like hard wind, may have been. I sat up, looked outside, didn’t look like wind, and wasn’t windy. I went back to bed. We are far away from you, but it was an odd experience.

btw - I’m envious you live in Norfork. I could move there. My wife wouldn’t. I need a daughter over there. Thanks for the tip.

The first significant quake we experienced in LA was a 5.0 about 75 miles away in the middle of the night. It woke us up, but was over by the time we were really awake so we weren’t sure exactly what had happened. Then we heard the sloshing of the water in the swimming pool out back. Very spooky. Took us a minute to figure it out. (There was no local damage.)

I see no trees down or limbs broken anywhere. Maybe the sound of the earthquake rolls through caves in our area and that’s what we heard. There are many, many limestone caves all around these parts of the Ozarks, some we don’t even know exist.

I slept through this one (in Rogers) just like I almost slept through one about 12 years ago in Heber Springs. We were staying at Red Apple Inn when the sound of the lamp shaking on the bedside table woke me up about 3 a.m. I thought it was a wild party going on across the hall.

My wife thought I was crazy when I told her about it this morning. When everyone else she talked to today told her about their experiences, she’s starting to believe me. I saw some fishing guides at lunch. They had a lackluster morning. So they have theories about how the earthquake dislodged vegetation in the river and the fish gorged themselves on sow bugs in the moss, etc. I figured it was the moon. You know, it’s always something. It can’t be just that the fisherman aren’t very talented, or the guide didn’t put them in the right spots. I say get rid of the guides. They get two trips and then they are out.

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I was living in Albuquerque NM when the space shuttle Columbia broke up upon re-entry to our atmosphere. I remember hearing what I would call something like a sonic boom. It wasn’t until later that I heard what it was. Being in situations like that is really unnerving. I’m glad everyone was safe up there near you Clay. I was living in Harrison in the early 90’s when we had a similar earthquake. I think it was about the same strength. I remember the house shaking as well.

I was living in Anchorage this time last year and was working on the third floor of a building when the 7.0 earthquake hit. I will never forget the look of fear on everyone’s face or how long 1 minute seemed like 15. Glad you and your belongings are in tact!

I woke up to the sound of what I thought was wind and the house creaking. Didn’t feel much in the way of shaking, but the house was making unusual noises. I suspected it was an earthquake as I recalled a similar one we had a few years ago that was centered in Western OK and had similar effects on our house.

I happened to be in Vegas this summer during the series of large earthquakes (6.5, 5.5, 7.3, and countless smaller aftershocks). I was 40 floors up in a hotel when the first one hit and it was the most surreal feeling. The first thing I noticed was a sense of disorientation and a loss of balance. I immediately sat down but the sensation didn’t pass and that’s when I realized the hotel was swaying back and forth quite violently and the bathroom door would swing open and slam shut with each sway. My mind couldn’t process what was happening at first. I actually wondered if a bomb had gone off nearby and we were feeling the shockwaves from it. But as it went on I began to suspect it was an earthquake. When it was over I looked out into the hallway and saw 3 cleaning ladies were huddled together under the doorway of a room crying and praying loudly. Only then did I realize that it was a much more major event than I had realized. I thought the experience was pretty cool, but my wife not so much–fearing more earthquakes, she was ready to immediately fly home.

We were at dinner a couple nights later when the largest one hit. And that one did get to me a bit. It’s a helpless feeling to be sitting in a crowded restaurant in an enormous building as everything shook and swayed violently around us and people began to panic. One of those humbling times in life that made me realize just how powerless we really are against the forces of nature.

I learned a lot about earthquakes that trip.I had no idea they induce a sense of vertigo that takes quite some time to pass. And that feeling makes you especially aware of aftershocks of which there were many. Truly a fascinating experience.