Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The earthquake rolled through our offices on Dobbin Road right around 2:00 PM. My first sensation was that someone was up on the roof working. Then I thought that whoever or whatever was on the roof was very large. Then, as the wave rolled across the office, I realized this was an earthquake.

“This is an earthquake!” TW declared from two workstations away.

Indeed it was, and an impressive one at that. I once spent a couple of years in the San Francisco Bay area and this little HoCo loco seismic event was even respectable by that standard.

As quickly as it came, it was over. In our office there was no evidence that it had even happened. The phones worked, the lights were on, the computers were working, and the Internet was up. We didn’t even have to straighten any pictures.

Shortly after that I left and headed to the county offices in Ellicott City. Traffic on the roads was normal, the traffic lights all working.
Isn’t wasn’t until I arrived at the newly renovated George Howard Building that I saw any sign that an earthquake had occurred. All of the employees and visitors were standing outside. They had been evacuated.

A friend of mine told me “They told us to leave and then they told us we could come back. When I started back they told me they changed their minds."

It was a nice day to be stuck aside though. It was one of those rare beautiful August days with little to no humidity and a pleasant breeze.
I saw Councilperson Jen Terrasa. She told me she had been in the lower level of the building and hadn’t really felt anything.
While we were standing there, a guy with a walkie talkie and reflective safety vest announced that everyone could return to their desks if they wanted to. He said the liberal leave policy was in effect for the rest of the day. It was about 2:45 PM. He said that there was some concern about gridlock.

I’m thinking with a day like this and the opportunity to enjoy a good part of it, the only gridlock is going to be at the starter’s box at the golf course.

When I got back to my office, I discovered that we had lost half our power. We had no lights, no a/c, and no phones but our computers work and we have Internet. Even our CNBC feed is working.

All in all, we’re pretty good to go after the Mineral Earthquake of 2011.
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