Home and bridge inspections underway after Louisa quake

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - Houses and bridges throughout the state are getting a close look after the Louisa quake. One home inspector said the phones have been ringing off the hook at his company about foundation problems. VDOT is staying busy too.

The pictures speak for themselves. Hugh Williams snapped photos of a stair step crack at a Chester home hours after the Louisa quake rattled the east coast.

When the ground stopped shaking, the phones started ringing.

"Our phones are ringing off the hook. We're at the office until eight at night," said Williams with JES Construction.

He said some calls have come in as far away as North Carolina and Maryland.

We caught up with Williams in Cuckoo, near Mineral, outside one house that's caught a lot of attention from passersby.

"This is a big time masonry job," said Williams, who did not inspect the house.

"It's more of the stress of the structure shaking back and forth. It can't absorb the shock of it, so it crumbles," said Williams.

But he said the homes he has seen so far have foundation problems which can get worse if steps aren't taken for repairs.

"Foundations do not stabilize on their own, so it's just going to get worse and if your foundation is settling, then your whole house is settling and throw out everything," said Williams.

Bridge inspections are top priorities for VDOT statewide.

Based on seismic readings, VDOT tells me 24 bridges got a second look in the Culpepper district including one on 522 in Louisa over the South Anna River.

There are 2,000 bridges in the Richmond district. Only ones with specific design features are being put under the microscope.

Inspection teams looked at more than a dozen Tuesday and at least 60 today including the Benjamin Harrison Bridge near Hopewell. So far, no damage has been reported. VDOT said it doesn't expect to find any damage but wants to make sure everything is safe.

We also checked with the city of Richmond about bridge and building inspections. So far, no damage has been found.

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