Wednesday, December 14, 2016

An earthquake in Polk County? Nope, just sonic booms from jet fighters

Residents in Polk, Lincoln and Columbia counties who expressed concern about a potential earthquake Monday night can rest easy. It wasn't an earthquake -- we checked -- but likely a result of Air National Guard training in the area.

Between 9 and 10 p.m. Monday night, viewers alerted KGW to loud booms that shook windows, rattled walls and were felt in Dallas, Independence, Lebanon and Lincoln City.

We looked into it and found no evidence of any earthquakes in the area. A local media report, however, tipped us off to Air National Guard training that was taking place along the Oregon coast.

The sonic booms from the fighter jets may have been responsible for the loud sounds that shook residents' homes and nerves Monday night. A spokesperson for the Air National Guard told KGW's Christine Pitawanich that the sound of the jet fighters can travel far, depending on the weather.

The Air National Guard spokesperson also confirmed that both the 142nd and 173rd Fighter Wings of the Air National Guard were conducting training last night and will continue training the next couple nights off the Oregon coast.

She wouldn't divulge the exact locations where they will be flying, but said that the 142nd flies off the coast between Astoria and Tillamook.


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