Downtown reacts to earthquake

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — The earthquake this afternoon sent downtown merchants, diners and shoppers out into the street, wondering if what they felt was indeed the earth moving.
Heather Teeter, owner of Sweet Meadow Cafe, didn’t have to guess. A native of southern California, Teeter knew she was experiencing an earthquake.
“I have never felt one in Salisbury,” she said. “I was very surprised.”
Teeter put the tremor at a 5.3 or 5.4 magnitude. Locals are waiting for official word of the strength of the tremor that shook Rowan County at 1:51 p.m. today.
Robin Baltimore, who was parked at the corner of Kerr and Main streets, thought she needed to have her car serviced when it began rocking. As the movement intensified, she said she was concerned someone was harassing her.
“I thought someone was jumping up and down on my back bumper,” said Baltimore, spokesperson for Rowan-Regional Medical Center.
Several commenters at also said they thought a prankster was shaking their car. Others said they suspected their washing machines were out of balance.
“We were rocking and shaking like crazy!!” Janet Ruffin, who was on the third floor of the old courthouse, posted on Facebook.
Earl Newman, who runs Growing Pains Family Consignment with his family, lived in California for 12 years and said he suspected what was going on when he felt the floor shaking as he folded clothes with his daughter.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say that was an earthquake,” Newman said he told his daughter.
Three musicians were preparing to record a Christian hip hop CD in a second-floor music studio downtown. Synphany Anderson was on the phone with a friend in Winston-Salem, who began yelling they were having an earthquake.
Anderson said he thought his friend was mistaken when suddenly the studio began shaking around him. He grabbed his daughter, Mikayla Young, and rushed to tell his brother, Galen Anderson, and friend, Jordan Copas, they needed to evacuate.
“It was my job to get the family out,” he said, the oldest brother.
The musicians said they had more work to do but had decided to call it a day and head to Hap’s for a hotdog instead.
“The earthquake messed it up,” Copas said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.