Neighbors near epicenter call earthquake "scary", "cool"

MINERAL, VA (WWBT) – There were few significant injuries, but almost everyone made it through the earthquake with a lifetime of stories to tell.

Many of them were Louisa County students. They were sent home Tuesday, and won't be back until the day after Labor Day. In the meantime, they'll be helping with the cleanup, and talking about this historic day.

Ralene Mercer has a lot of problems in her house now...from the cracked walls, to the bathroom.

"I was so bad, it knocked the top of the toilet seat off," she said, pointing out the damage.

She thought, maybe, it was the train rumbling through town, but only for a moment.

"I don't know, it just clicked in my head: This is definitely an earthquake," Mercer said.

And while Ralene tried to salvage the inside of her house...students were limping to safety just a few miles away. The tremor caused several minor injuries at Louisa County High School, where James Cusick was in his tenth grade theatre class.

"I literally saw the ceiling, look like a dump truck. It was ridiculous," said the sophomore.

Students told us about falling ceiling tiles, along with a TV and computers that all hit the floor. Classes were cancelled almost immediately...and the students won't be back until September 6.

Amid all of that, Johnny Farkas found reason to smile.

"I didn't find it scary, I thought 'Okay, this is kind of cool. Maybe? I might live?'" said the junior.

A few more miles down the road...a Food Lion grocery store was closed for the night. Susan Bowman was there when it happened.

"The Cokes and then all the soft drinks were flying off the walls and hitting the floor and hitting my cart,  and there was Coke running all over the floor. It was the biggest mess I've ever seen," Bowman said.

A big mess...but few injuries or major damage, after one of the biggest earthquakes to ever hit Virginia.

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