Quake shakes Custer County
Published: Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Things were rocking and rolling early last Thursday morning in Custer — literally.
Many residents were surprised to find out they lived through — or even slept through — a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, which is believed to have originated in the Center Lake area of Custer State Park, 10 miles northeast of Custer at 2:43 a.m. The earthquake was shallow in depth — about five kilometers — with no damage reported.
While measuring small on the Richter Scale, many were able to feel the earthquake, with some reporting from Hermosa, Buffalo Gap, Hill City, Keystone and even Rapid City.
“It woke my wife up, but she thought it was an airplane. The sounds went away quickly,” said Seth Thompson, who lives north of Buffalo Gap. “We often hear planes from Ellsworth fly over and this sounded like something similar, but it didn’t last as long.”
Sage Keltner, who lives on Hazelrodt Road near Custer, woke up thinking a logging truck with a large load was making it’s way down the road.
“I thought it was a weird time for logging, so I got up and looked out the window but didn’t see anything,” she said. “Then I thought maybe it was a jet, but I didn’t see one.”
Keltner said the sound she heard was unusual and lasted a while.
“It wasn’t a gradual noise,” she said. “It just happened. It was weird.”
Keltner said the sound was similar to the earthquakes she experienced while at summer camp in Yellowstone, which frequently experiences small quakes.
“We would be riding the trails and would hear them in the distance. This earthquake sounded like something I would hear in Yellowstone,” she said. “We would come back from riding horses or being out and our stuff and belongings would be moved around.”
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