Emergency responders work into the night in Louisa - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Emergency responders work into the night in Louisa

Posted: Updated:

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - A rumble grows into a roar as the earth beneath rural Louisa County shakes, shocking the people who live here.

"When you're standing up and the floor under you it's a surprising event," Fire Chief Scott Keim said.

As frightening as it was, Fire Chief Keim is thankful-somehow, there were no deaths, major injuries or trapped victims as the calls started coming in seconds after 1:51 this afternoon. 911 was overrun, the number of calls several times the average volume. Crews rushed to cover minor injuries and medical emergencies they attribute to the earthquake.

"The walls were moving it was a little scary," he said.

One major challenge-a communication system, including cell and land lines, that was inconsistent at best.

"Certainly they've been less reliable. The radio system that we use to communicate, it obviously at some points was overwhelmed by the amount of radio traffic we had to deal with," said Keim.

The damage at some of those calls is astounding-bricks toppling from chimneys, homes ripped from their foundation, belongings scattered and smashed on the floors.

If you have any question about the safety of your home, officials don't want you to risk it. That's why they've opened a shelter at Moss Nuckols Elementary and they say they'll keep it open overnight if need be.

Now, as residents cope with scenes of destruction like the one at this centuries old house and officials get help from the state and surrounding counties, the question is what happens next in the recovery effort?

"The money is very tight. We'll wait and see the assessments and for us to survive it will probably take state and federal money to help us out," said Louisa Board of Supervisors Chairman Willie Gentry.

At one point officials were concerned about the looting that sometimes takes place after natural disasters..that fear was calmed as power has now been restored.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow