Residents shaken up

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Suffolk residents who already had eyes on Hurricane Irene this week were shocked to find themselves in the middle of an earthquake instead.

After the shaking ended about 1:51 p.m. Tuesday, people in downtown office buildings streamed out of the doors and into the streets.

Leslie and Rufus Faulk were in a clothing shop on West Washington Street when the owner told them to evacuate the building.

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“It felt like motion sickness,” Leslie Faulk said.

The family is visiting from Boston, Mass., and they immediately started receiving calls from family at home saying they also felt the quake.

Pam Boykin was dining in the Plaid Turnip restaurant on North Main Street when the temblor hit.

“Everybody started looking at each other,” she said, adding that the tables in the eatery were vibrating.

Fellow patron Bill Durrell didn’t have to wonder what was happening.

“I’m from California,” he said. “So I knew instantly what was going on.”

Residents in other parts of the city felt the shaking as well.

“We were both sitting in the kitchen, and it came in two waves,” said Donnie Morgan, a North Suffolk resident. “The furniture was moving. It was a very strange experience.”

Morgan said the shaking lasted about 20 seconds.

“I’m from northern Suffolk,” Michelle Brew said on the Suffolk News-Herald’s Facebook fan page. “My entire house shook. I thought for a second that it [was] from the new construction across the street, but then I got a text from my husband in Norfolk saying that he felt it too.”

Brenda Davis, who lives on Carolina Road, said she heard a rumbling sound.

“The windows in my house were shaking,” she said. “The floor was shaking.”

Meanwhile, staff at local businesses apparently felt the shaking as well. They took to Twitter to break up the tension with a little bit of humor.

“Who’s glad they do not own a china shop in Mineral, Va. today?” Duke Automotive tweeted.

And staff at the A. Dodson’s shop on Bridge Road in Suffolk said their light fixtures were swaying during the quake.

“According to our chandeliers, we just had an earthquake. Anyone else?” they tweeted.

Staff Writer Emily R. Collins contributed to this report.