Tales of the Tremor: From Swaying Screens to 'I Thought the Plumbing Would Explode'

Fear gives way to 'stories for the grandchildren' after an earthquake rocks Tredyffrin, Easttown and the eastern seaboard from Virginia to Boston.

It was literally a "once in a lifetime" event, and the reactions to Tuesday's earthquake depended largely on where people were at 1:50 p.m. when it hit.

"It was scary," bank teller Beverly Egerter said as she told the story of being in the ladies room at the branch in Devon. "The sink started shaking. Mirrors started shaking. I thought the plumbing was going to explode!"

By 3:30 p.m. Egerter was joking about her experience, but as it was happening it was no laughing matter. "I thought a truck hit the building." When you work in a bank something like that can be a very serious problem.

As it became clear that it was an earthquake Egerter's fear were calmed. Like many along the Upper Main Line it was the first earthquake experience she could recall. "I slept through the one in the 70's." In telling her inside the ladies room story Egerter quipped she didn't quite know what to think at the time other than perhaps "the Tidy Bowl Man's having a big party!"

A short distance away inside the office, Betsy Hennelly thought she was getting dizzy or sick when her computer monitor started to sway. "The whole place shook, it was pretty scary," she explained about 45 minutes after the tremor rocked the office. Hennelly said she could see utility lines swaying from phone polls outside the window of the office at the corner of Berwyn & Midland (next to ) in Berwyn.

Hennelly noted that what you felt during the quake depended on where you were. She said people inside the building really felt it shake, but people coming in later from the outside barely seemed to have noticed anything. People standing in line for ice cream at Handel's echoed that observation. One man said he was outside across the street at nearby Main Line Tree Service and "it just shook a little bit." A woman standing in line, who did not want to be identified by name." said "well, this'll be one to tell the grandchildren about."

To hear Betsy Hennelly describe what it felt like when the earthquake shook her office click on the clip.


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