Families of Wake Players Unharmed in East Coast Quake
Faith Adams

Aug. 26, 2011

By Krista Brown, WakeForestSports.com

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A rare East Coast earthquake rocked Virginia and neighboring states early Tuesday afternoon. The 5.8 magnitude quake caused nuclear power plants to shut down, the evacuation of office buildings, and the closing of several national monuments in Washington, DC. The original quake and its aftershocks sent out seismic waves that could be felt from Northern New England to Georgia.

While officials quickly reopened office buildings and some national monuments and reported no major injuries or damages, Wake Forest native Virginian student-athletes immediately called home to check on their families and their belongings.

Field hockey player Cristen Atchinson, from Virginia Beach, discussed how she had trouble getting in touch with her family after she first learned of the earthquake.

"I couldn't through at first which made me nervous, I guess the cell phone towers were down for little bit," said Atchinson. "But, I finally got through to my dad. He told me the whole building shook and my mom was on the beach with my little sister. But everybody was fine."

Teammate Faith Adams, from Great Falls, Va., said that her family was OK even though there was some damage to her house.

"The house shook and there was a few cracks in the house and a few pictures fell, but it was nothing too major."

Soccer player Courtney Owen, from Annandale, Va.. said her parents and grandparents, who live in Richmond, 35 miles from the earthquake's epicenter, were unharmed.

"My little brother said he was sitting in the house and everything kind of shook, but they said nothing broke and nothing spilled," said Owen. "My dad works for the government so he got off work. There was big traffic jam. They were letting everyone out so it took hours to get home."

Though the earthquake may have sent the East Coach into a mini-panic, native Californians shrugged off the earthquake as being fairly minor.

California natives and women's soccer players Riley Ridgik and Kim Marshall discussed how they were surprised that the East Coach had not experienced an earthquake in such a long time.

"Everybody was freaking out and we were just like `Oh, we have them all the time'" Ridgik said. Marshall explained how her mother, visiting Old Salem at the time, reacted to the earthquake.

"People in Old Salem were like, `Oh my gosh, we're having an earthquake' and she didn't even feel it."

While Ridgik and Marshall both found humor in the mild panic that ensued after the Virginia earthquake, they both expressed happiness and relief over the fact that no one was seriously injured and that all of their fellow Wake Forest student-athlete's families were safe.

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