'I Heard The Roar': Strong Earthquake Rocks Central Idaho

Wednesday, April 1st 2020, 6:02 am
By: CBS News

A powerful earthquake struck north of Boise Tuesday evening, with people across a large area reporting that they felt shaking.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.5 temblor hit just before 6 p.m. It was centered 73 miles northeast of Meridian, near the rural mountain town of Stanley. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

More than 2 million people live in the region who could have felt the Idaho quake, according to the USGS, with reports of shaking coming in from as far away as Helena, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah.

CBS Boise affiliate KBOI-TV says reports flooded its newsroom and popped up on social media from all over the Northwest and even Canada. Viewers said it lasted between 20-30 seconds.

Marcus Smith, an emergency room health unit coordinator at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, said the hospital shook but the quake didn't interfere with the treatment of any patients. The hospital in Blaine County, about 65 miles south of the epicenter, is on the front line of Idaho's coronavirus outbreak, in a region with the nation's highest per-capita rates of known COVID-19 cases outside of New York City and its surrounding counties.

"It felt like a wave going through the ground, so I knew right away what it was. It just felt like waves going through the ground," he said.

The earthquake added stress during an already tense time for the region, but Smith said everything seemed fine, for now. "Until the next one, I guess," Smith said. "I mean, that's what we do. We're all good."

Brett Woolley, the owner of Bridge Street Grill in Stanley, said he heard the earthquake coming before he felt it.

"I heard the roar, and at first it sounded like the wind but then the roar was tremendous," Woolley said about 10 minutes after the earthquake. "The whole house was rattling, and I started to panic. I'm sitting here perfectly still and the water next to me is still vibrating."

Greg Hogan, owner of Redwood Cabins in Stanley, told KBOI the quake took him and his 12-year-old son by surprise.

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