Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

In Clintonville: I survived the 1.5 March 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:52 AM
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The Booms Are Back! Residents of Clintonville Are Reporting Very Loud Noises on Tuesday Night!

So screams the headline scrolling across the Clintonville Chronicle website today as this Wisconsin community northwest of Green Bay experiences yet more unsettling booms following a recent 1.5 magnitude earthquake that rattled residents.

Since my second daughter lives in Appleton about 40 miles to the south, I’ve taken a special interest in Clintonville. Geologists determined that a “swarm” of earthquakes, amplified by Wisconsin’s unique bedrock, caused the shaking and sonic type booms that have awakened and frightened residents in this town of 4,736.

Yes, I would be scared, too, if the earth started rattling and rumbling.

And, just for the record, my daughter has been to the small medical clinic in Clintonville for her job as a Spanish medical interpreter, although not recently.

In perusing the newspaper website, I am happy to see that Clintonville is already embracing the economic opportunities that come with being thrust into the national spotlight. T-shirts emblazoned with “I Survived the 1.5” can be purchased in Clintonville or ordered online. Click here for more information about those shirts.

T-shirt sale profits “will be used to beautify or enhance something in our City as determined by the Mayor at a later date,” promo info reads. “This is not meant to make light of a serious situation but to show that we, as a community, came together to get through the events of this week.”

Let me interject here to applaud the folks of Clintonville. This is one of the attributes I admire in small towns. Togetherness.

I expect that the earthquake marks the biggest news event ever in Clintonville. In a typical week, you’re more likely to read top stories like these from the March 20 Chronicle: “Clintonville Sheep Now Famous,” “Christus to Host Spring Luncheon” and “Sheriffs Seek Evidence of Burglary” rather than “City of Clintonville is Booming.” Click here to access the award-winning Chronicle home page.

All of that booming has also prompted some Clintonville residents to purchase earthquake insurance. (Click here to see a map of  March 19 – 21 quake-related reports from Clintonville.) My daughter mentioned the insurance sales to me yesterday during a noon-time phone conversation, just before she headed out the door to a clinic in New London, some 15 miles south of Clintonville.

WHAT ARE YOUR thoughts on an earthquake in Wisconsin, of all places?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


12 Responses to “In Clintonville: I survived the 1.5”

  1. paddyro Says:

    In 1988 I was awakened in the night by a huge jolt. The next day there was a small piece in a national newspaper about a quake on the Chichester fault in Southern England. Nobody else I ever spoke to noticed anything at all. I must be particularly sensitive to that sort of thing or maybe the cat just happened to jump through the window.
    Still enjoying your photos and descriptions. Patrick

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Perhaps you should book a ticket to Green Bay and then make your way to Clintonville to compare the experiences. Seriously, I think I would find an earthquake extremely nerve-wracking. Glad you’re enjoying my stories and photos. Looks like you are particularly busy with cooking lessons.

  2. ceciliag Says:

    a small swarm of earthquakes.. WHY.. have they been frakking nearby? are they on a fault line, has there been drilling? I hope there are no more, coming from an earthquake ridden country (NZ) I do worry when the jolts persist.. c

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You raise some very legitimate questions. From what I’ve read in media reports and on the Clintonville city website, the cause is not due to any mining in the area or to some major fault line. Factors like a relatively dry winter and less ground water have been mentioned as has the occurrence of small, explainable earthquakes like this several times a year across the country. I just checked the city website and Tuesday evening into Wednesday, the booming and shaking had returned. Stay tuned. The Clintonville Chronicle has just published a commemorative earthquake edition. I’d love to get my hands on that.

  3. I’ve been in several earthquakes on the west coast, including a 7.4 in CA back in 1992. That was the biggest they’d had in ages, but it was located out in the desert, so not too bad. They’re disturbing, that’s for sure. Unnerving. I say that’s one good thing about the midwest – we don’t usually have them…and now this Clintonville thing is messing that up!

  4. hotlyspiced Says:

    I’m so pleased I live in an area where earthquakes are expected. I grew up in Wellington NZ which is a city built on a fault-line and so I experienced many earthquakes and they are unnerving and very frightening. I certainly hope the ‘booms’ settle down and the fear can go from the residents xx

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