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Montana earthquake shakes area residents

County rocks with 5.8 tremor

IDAHO COUNTY – It’s thunder. No, it’s fireworks! Wait, is that an earthquake?

Many Idaho County residents were surprised Wednesday night, July 5, when they felt the earth sway.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a 5.8 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter in Lincoln, Mont., (66 miles from Missoula), occurred at 11:30 p.m. The National Weather Service in Missoula also noted there were nine aftershocks following the main quake.

Immediately, Idaho County residents were posting on Facebook:

“Earthquake in Lowell!” said Lara Heidtman Smith.

“Yes, it woke me up here on the Salmon River by White Bird!” noted Beth Plagmann.

“And there were those who snickered when I put heavy duty earthquake brackets in the walls when I built my house here on the Selway,” said Dave Harrington. “I was in the 6.8 Nisqually quake and I remember several small quakes here on the Selway, so when I built the house I made sure it was tied down. So, who is laughing now?”

“My mother-in-law Kelly Nelson Newson said she felt it and the chandelier was swaying and Mandy Gibleau just reported the same thing!” said Heather Newson of Grangeville.

“I woke up to my bed shaking and my boys were woken up to it, too!” said Aminta Bruzas of Grangeville.

“Wow! Just felt an earthquake! Probably shook my house for five seconds,” commented Jen Huntley, also of Grangeville. Huntley also said her dog growled in anticipation of the quake.

“Something shook here, too. Thought I was going crazy!” said Shandra Chandler of Slate Creek.

Others didn’t seem to notice a thing:

“Nope, slept right through it. Like a rock,” said Shawna Hilbert of the Happy Hollow area.

“I must have slept through it — still recovering from Border Days!” added Lynn Alder of Grangeville

“How do I sleep through an earthquake but wake up to a skunk again?!” asked Cody Dame of Grangeville.

No reported damage was received by Idaho County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch, which took three citizen reports in and around 11:34 p.m. from Kooskia, Cove Road and Elk City. On that last, the woman further requested patrol of State Highway 14 for possible rock fall. A Grangeville Police officer also reported the incident was experienced in town.


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