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Quake starts off Friday with a bang

Some structures suffered broken windows.

By Richard Rourk

Residents of Unicoi County were awakened by a rumbling of the earth in the early morning hours of Friday, Feb. 12.

According to the United States Geological Survey, Unicoi County experienced a 2.8 magnitude earthquake at about 3:30 a.m.

Although Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley confirmed that there were no reports of major damage to the county, many residents experienced minor damage to their homes and automobiles.

One resident told The Erwin Record that the earthquake caused a window to bust inside her residence. Another resident stated that his truck was knocked out of gear by the earthquake.

Residents weren’t the only ones who felt the quake. Many residents have reached out to The Erwin Record to explain that their pets were awakened by the rumbling of the earthquake in the early morning hours.

Rock Creek resident Deborah Mitchell commented on the Erwin Record’s Facebook page that she felt the quake. “It shook the bed,” Mitchell wrote.

Broken glass was the extent of damage for most residents, but landslides were reported at some locations.

Likewise, Abby Kenney White also felt the quake shaking things at her home. “It felt like the house swayed,” she wrote, adding that she called her sister in Rock Creek to see if she felt the quake.

Temple Hill resident Candice Dunbar commented that she had no trouble feeling the quake. “I thought that someone ran into the house,” she wrote. “Everything shook.”

Unicoi County Emergency Management Director Jimmy Erwin woke early due to the quake and set to work with TEMA on an official statement in regards to the earthquake.

“We hope to have an official release from TEMA shortly,” Erwin said. “We did have a rock slide in the county about 4 a.m. this morning,” Erwin said. “TDOT cleaned it up and we also experienced  another rock slide about 11:30 a.m. or so. Fortunately, there has not been any major damage reported from the earthquake.”

The Erwin Record will report more details as they become available.