Pawnee residents want the quakes to end after 4.5-magnitude temblor Tuesday night
PAWNEE, Okla. (KTUL) – The people of Pawnee are fed up with earthquakes and they want something done about the problem before it becomes far more serious.
Late Tuesday night a 4.5-magnitude quake hit about seven miles southeast of town.
While there was no significant new damage to the historic buildings downtown or the Pawnee Nation, much of the previous damage was made worse.
On the second floor of the tribal offices, cracks and plaster damage from September expanded.
The people who work in those offices told us they are on edge and tired of wondering what’s going to happen next.
Chan Ray is a retired minister who lives a couple of blocks from downtown. He said last night got his attention.
“It was plum scary! It didn’t seem like it wasn’t gonna stop. It just kept shaking and a rumbling. Finally, it quit,” said Ray.
He worries about his home because it was built in 1897 and it’s getting more damage with each seismic event.
“It’s just one of those things that you worry," he said. "What’s going to happen next?”
Damage from the Sept. 3 quake is still visible on a downtown corner. An old bank building is surrounded by snow fence because there’s fear more sandstone blocks will fall to the sidewalk.
The people who walk those streets want the state to do more to stop the quakes. Some think that means much tighter restriction on the energy business.
“I mean, it’s ridiculous this is not how Oklahoma is," said Starla Bilyeu. "We’ve never had quakes I’ve lived here all my life.”
She blamed energy exploration.
“There is a correlation obviously,” said Bilyeu.
The City of Pawnee and the Pawnee Nation are coordinating their effort to get more action. The city is pressuring the state of Oklahoma while the tribe is working through a list of federal agencies from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the EPA.