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Continued Shaking Has Texans Considering Earthquake Insurance

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(credit: azlechamber.com)

(credit: azlechamber.com)

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Earthquakes have hit the northwest part of the metroplex for the eighteenth time since November 20 — 11 of those quakes have been near Azle.

There were two more tremors in recent days, including one around 7:10 a.m. Monday – the epicenter for that one was about half a mile southwest of Reno and was felt throughout the area.

“The bed shook and there was a loud noise at the same time,” Azle Cafe owner Beverly Moore told CBS 11 News.  One of her employees, Brittany Vicchiollo was in the cafe at the time.  “A lot of shaking, and there was big ‘boom’ before it happened,” she said.

Customer Brenda Burks echoed sentiments inside the cafe recalling, “It was a big ‘boom’ and then it started shaking my bedroom, my dining room and everything. You’ve got to watch the TV because it’s sitting on a dresser and it shook the TV, rattled the TV and scared my dogs.”

But shaking was about all it did.  The earthquake was centered several miles west of the Azle diner, but there have been so many recently everyone seems to take them in stride now, including cafe owner Moore.  “Now you know what it is when it happens. At first it was, you know like, earthquakes here?”

But Moore, whose home is close to Monday’s epicenter, says the continued shaking is making her think about getting earthquake insurance.  “It’s a scary thing; I’m beginning to worry about foundational (sic) problems in our house, things like that that I never thought of.”

She’s not alone.

Lorron Earley has felt the quakes in his home in nearby Briar.  “I guess like most people I assumed it was in my homeowners policy.  I’ve been with State Farm for many years, I called and checked and they said, ‘no, it’s not, earthquakes are not covered.’”

Monday’s magnitude 3.3 shaker had no great shakes overall.  The U.S. Geological Survey shows 10 of similar strength in California today alone. Still, consistent tremors prompt infrastructure worries in towns like Reno.  Mayor Pro Tem Bonnie Black told CBS 11 News, “There was a water main that they had to repair after one of them; we have not tied [the damage] to that yet but it was quite a coincidence.”

Azle reports no damage from the quakes; Oncor electric, no quake-related power outages either.

Mayor Pro Tem Black, who lived in California for a dozen years, is not overly concerned, as she says the earthquakes she’s experienced in North Texas have not been the same kind of big, rolling ones experienced in the Golden State. “There is a major fault somewhere between Dallas-Fort Worth that runs down, I believe, to Burleson and that area.  It doesn’t surprise me that there could be little tributaries of it.  They’re all over California. And I know the pressure has to be relieved somehow.”

While many locals are worried all the different elements of natural gas drilling may be playing a role, Black isn’t so sure.  “Fracking has been going on out here 40 to 50 years.  And we’ve never had earthquakes before.  So that doesn’t bother me. [It] may bother some people but I’m not worried about that.”

Everyone who’s bothered about anything quake-related will have a turn to voice his or her opinion at an upcoming Town Hall Meeting for the area.  Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter will host one at Azle High School on January 2, 2014, between 5-7 p.m.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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