5.8 Earthquake north of Richmond VA -

Vater's avatar

I'm sure quite a few parks were affected, but KD is only about 30 miles from the epicenter. I also wondered yesterday if anyone would feel anything while riding one of the coasters there. Judging by the way my office shook, I'm inclined to say they would have on one of the smoother steel coasters, but the woodies? Doubtful.

Last edited by Vater,

I read it was felt here in Cincinnati, OH as well. I did not notice it however.

CoasterDaddy said:
I read it was felt here in Cincinnati, OH as well. I did not notice it however.

NY paper this morning said it was felt in Chicago. That's the furthest reach I've heard about.

The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist


Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Yes, a buddy of mine in Chicago said he felt it at his office. I got a good shake myself here at my office in Boyertown, PA. Our floor flexes a bit normally, but the quake made my chair bounce up and down. It was pretty cool. :)

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

I was driving my van near Reading PA and stopped at a Sheetz, but didn't feel anything. The only weird thing was when I tried to make a cell call, I was told all the circuits were busy.

The moral of my story is that Pennsylvania roads counteract the effects of a 5.9 earthquake.

Still no word from anyone that was at either KD or SFA during the quake? Bueller? Bueller?

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.

It made it all the way to Chicago? Surprised I didn't notice it at my office in Ft. Wayne, then. Of course, road construction right against one side of our building just finished, so our building was constantly being shaken with them breaking up the concrete and asphalt for two weeks. I probably just assumed they had decided to do something to the road again if the building did shake.

Original BlueStreak64

coasterqueenTRN's avatar

There were dozens of reports that it was felt here in Charleston WV and the surrounding areas but I didn't notice or feel anything. A lot of buildings were evacuted just to be safe, especially the taller ones.

The press made it into a big deal, though. You would think it was Armageddon. The East Coast and especially the Northeast being prepared for an earthquake is like Southern California being prepared for a blizzard. ;)

It was kind of freaky and surreal to see so many Facebook statuses pop up all at once. I had friends posting from Columbus to North Carolina and all the way up to Boston and back. I am glad to hear everyone was safe!


Last edited by coasterqueenTRN,
Vater's avatar

I get that the west coast is making fun of us here on the east coast, but I'm not sure that everyone fully grasps that 1) we don't get (significant) earthquakes out here (this is the first one I've ever felt in my 38 years), and 2) the fact that it was so shallow caused just about the entire eastern US to feel it. I've now heard as far south as Atlanta, as far north as 100 miles north of Toronto, and as far west as Chicago.

Yes, the news has made this a bigger deal than it really is, but still. In hindsight (after my initial panic), it was pretty damn cool. Plus, I felt a 4.5 aftershock last night just after 1am.

LostKause's avatar

I felt a few earthquakes before in my lifetime here in the Eastern part of the country. Most vividly somewhere near 1980. I know that there were a few earthquakes more recently than that though, but not as intense.

My mom said that she was in bed during the quake, and she felt her bed shake back and forth, and for a second was afraid that maybe she was being possessed by the devil like in the movies. lol

Local TV media especially really made this earthquake big news. I'm not even sure that anyone was injured because of it, but these guys made sure that we were scared because of it.

A few people have been posting on Facebook that this is proof that the end of the world is near. I find all these hysterics to be very silly.

DaveStroem's avatar

This one is my favorite http://belieber.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/2011-va-earthquake-we-w...damage.jpg

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

Jeff's avatar

Actually, part of the reason it was felt so widely is the composition of the earth's crust in that half of the country. It's far more dense than it is out west. While the east has mostly been "settled" since, apparently, it moved away from Pangea, the west has been moving outward toward the Pacific ever since. There's a mess of faults sliding around and active volcanic activity close to the surface. With all of that lower density earth, the movement is not transmitted as efficiently as it is in the east.

It's still mostly an over-reaction.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

When to Kings Dominion today and all rides were running just fine!

Yeah...well for the west coast folks...I would love to see there reactions if all of sudden they had Hurricane Irene magically show up...or the blizzard of 77.

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
Jeff's avatar

Oh yeah, you get an inch of snow in Seattle and people literally are abandoning their cars in the middle of intersections. You go out for lunch and end up hungry because everything is closed.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

ApolloAndy's avatar

It has everything to do with preparation. Down here in TX the whole Dallas/Fort Worth shut down the week before the Super Bowl for a couple of inches of snow, but heat over 105 for a month doesn't bother us because everywhere has A/C.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

This is the original "Ffej" over from PointBuzz. Finally decided to register, as I was at Kings Dominion when the Earthquake hit.

I have always wanted to feel an Earthquake, so I'm bummed that I was driving into the parking lot of King's Dominion from NW OH when it hit. I didn't feel anything.

I was excited entering KD, seeing the rides going. All of a sudden, Dominator stopped on the lift hill (which makes me wonder if there is indeed a seismic sensor). The rest of the rides all stopped. My friend and I didn't think anything of this at first...though I said, "Mechanical problems on a B&M? What are the odds?"

So, we scanned our Platinum Passes at entrance, receiving no warning. We headed toward Dominator...the 360 pirate boat was closed...Boo Blasters closed. Then, we walked toward Volcano the blast. Closed. The Crypt closed. My friend stated, "This has to be the worst operations of any park ever." There were no warnings over the PA system, and the ride ops at the entrances of the rides were just saying the generic, "We're down (some said mechanical issues) and don't know when we'll be back up."

So, after looking around at the park closely and realizing every single ride was down (yet people were still walking around, as if nothing happened)...I sought out a management employee. I found one and asked what was going on? Why are all the attractions closed?

She smiled and said, "Didn't you just feel that??? We had an earthquake. All attractions are closed until further notice."

We waited by Volcano for 30 minutes, and then the park got eerily quiet and everyone stopped walking and sat down along the perimeter of the walkways. After about 45 minutes of closure, suddenly the Crypt started testing empty cycles. It was the only ride going, and then it opened. So, we rode it. Still no announcements, and we left our phones in the car, not knowing exactly how bad the quake was.

Though all lines were closed, we got in the pre-que line for Volcano, figuring it'd open after Crypt. We waited about 15 minutes, and the only thing going was still the Crypt, so we rode it again.

After this, we decided to walk back to our cars to see what had happened on our phones. On International Street, there was finally an announcement that due to the Earthquake, all the attractions were closed until they had an inspection (this was at 3-4PM). They said that all tickets would be valid any other day through September 10th, and they were free to come back another day and stay the rest of the day if they wanted to.

The Snoopy show on International street started then, and it probably had its largest crowd in history, since everything was closed.

We went to our car and checked our phones, seeing that the 5.9 Earthquake hit very near, and things made much more sense. I debated with my friend whether inspection meant a state inspection or an in-park inspection, as I was frustrated that the long trip may have been completely ruined if they needed a state inspection for all the rides (and why was Crypt running?).

Suddenly, I saw Dominator start back up with a few hours to close. We ran back into the park and rode it. Nearly all the coasters and rides started to come back to life, one by one. We rode most everything with hardly any wait. The only coasters that didn't re-open that day were Volcano, Intimidator (someone said it opened, but I never saw it), and Anaconda.

We went the next day to finish up the park, and there was a list of about 5 roller coasters that would not be open today, with Volcano, Anaconda, and several others on there. But, they all opened, and I got to experience every roller coaster and ride in the park.

It turned out to be a great trip, and I enjoyed Intimidator 305, though its one-train operation was awful. The wheels were apparently still melting off, as they had to switch trains as mechanics worked away on the wheels. I also did grey out on the first turn, but I didn't feel it was all that different from Millenium Force...no big deal.

Overall, the Earthquake only closed down the park a couple hours, and I think KD handled it well, allowing all to use their tickets another day. I would have liked a little more communication over the PA right after the quake occured, but I imagine the park didn't want to start any panic.

LostKause's avatar

Thanks for that interesting story, Jeph.

I am going to go off topic for a sec (what else is new) and ask, why is I-305 having trouble with melting wheels? MF at Cedar Point had that problem when the ride first opened, but I thought that problem was fixed. I-305 is no faster than MF. Couldn't the same solution for fixing the MF problem also fix the I-305 problem?

^ I've wanted to ask if I-305 was still having the melting wheels problem since the new track retro-fit. Thanks for asking Travis.

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