Luther Residents Rattled After Recent Earthquakes

Wednesday, August 17th 2016, 5:11 pm
By: Grant Hermes

Residents near Luther are recovering after the fourth earthquake in a week rocked homes and neighborhoods Wednesday morning.

According to the News9/Newson6 seismograph, the quake happened around 8:30am. The earthquake was initially recorded as a 4.3 magnitude, but it was later downgraded to a 4.0. The quake was the fourth recorded in the Luther area in a week. A 4.0, 3.2 and 3.5 were all recorded between Aug. 10 and Aug. 17.

8/17/16 Related Story: Earthquake Rattled Residents In Central Oklahoma

“I haven't felt anything like this one. This one was pretty bad,” Pam Schmidthuber said sitting in the kitchen of her mobile home just east of Luther. She and her husband live roughly a mile from the epicenter of Wednesday morning’s quake

Schmidthuber said she was no stranger to earthquakes, her home has been rocked by them since she moved in a little over a year ago. But normally she said there’s a slight rumble before a quake hits. This one, she said, came without warning.

“I had canning jars falling off my table. I could hear things in the cabinet falling and crashing,” Schmidthuber said. “I looked towards the end of the mobile and we were, it looked like we were on the ocean, it was just waving.”

The force was so strong it nearly knocked her to the floor. When it subsided several minutes later, Schmidthuber said she ran out to her external propane tank to shut off the gas, hoping to avoid disaster.

“I came outside and literally leapt off the porch. It was pretty wet out here this morning. I was barefoot,” She said pointing out a footprint left in the yard.

The earthquake left cracks in the Schmidthuber home. One followed along a seam in the floor where one half of the home now sits lower. It also cracked the drywall joining the main home and an added sunroom. It also knocked loose dirt around the above-ground pool in the back yard.

Matt Skinner, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, said the Luther area is a “top concern” and that there were still active waste water injection wells in the area although some had been reduced up to 40 percent in recent months.

Schmidthuber said she's not blaming energy companies or their subsidiaries but is still wondering what it will take to prevent the next quake.

“When you inject where there are fault lines, guess what happens?” she asked. “There's going to be a reaction for that action.”