Clean up underway in Cushing after earthquake - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Clean up underway in Cushing after earthquake

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

CUSHING, OK (KSWO) - Cleanup is still underway in Cushing after last night's major 5.0 earthquake.

The quake, which hit just before 7:45, dealt most of its damage to the city's older buildings. Cushing Police say a drone flew over to assess the damage and say about 20 buildings were damaged.  Authorities are only allowing local business owners in, otherwise roadways are blocked off.  Police say only one person suffered minor injuries. And they say power has now been restored to the downtown area.

One of the most historic buildings in Cushing, The American  Legion also had significant damage to it. Residents say they're ready to rebuild and get their city back the way it was before.

"Everything but the eyes shed tears. Marines don't cry, but everyplace else except the ears, I cried. Last night was really tough."

Commander Jim Hunter of Post 108 American Legion grew up in Cushing and has many memories in this building. He says when he was at home when the earthquake hit Sunday night, but he immediately came to the American Legion building to check on it. It was still standing, but the ceiling inside had come down, and part of the back wall was scattered all over the ground.

"I was devastated," said Hunter. "I've been a member for 61 years."

The American Legion building in Cushing has been here since 1924. It hosts meetings for veterans and is a place they can gather. Hunter says he's ready to put it back together, so he can be with his brothers.

"I can't tell you... it's very special place in my heart," said Hunter. "I've seen it when we've had a meeting down here and there'd be 2 people here and we've come a long way."

Cushing Police Chief, Tully Folden says The town has never been through a disaster like this. He says the quake sounded like an explosion. He says the cleanup process got underway immediately.

"We've been through some earthquakes," said Folden. "Nothing of this magnitude. We saw what happened in Pawnee a couple months ago, we know it's possible. It's definitely a lot to take in. But, we also understand that you're looking at 100 plus year old buildings that were built prior to earthquakes in Oklahoma."

Hunter says they've had lots of help from members and the community reach out to them and see how they can help. He says even an old friend came by and offered to pay for what insurance wouldn't.

"He said, we'll when you get to where you need to make that up, you let me know and I'll do something,said Hunter. "I mean he just walked in off the street... and that means a lot."

Hunter says they will hold their annual meetings at the senior citizen center in Cushing next Monday night until the building is rebuilt.

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