Preliminary GEER Lifelines Report from Russell A. Green, PhD, PE

From Russell A. Green at GEER:

I surveyed damage in the epicentral region for the past two days (I arrived about 4 hrs after the earthquake).

Power: […] power to the area was mostly restored by the time that I arrived there, so it was only for a few hours at most.

Water: There was a water main break in the Mineral, VA. It was a 2” dia pipe. I was there when they replaced it. It was fairly corroded and likely would have needed to be replaced with in a year or two, independent of the earthquake.

Railroad: Trains transporting coal run through the area about every 2 hrs. The suspended the trains after earthquake to inspect the lines. While I was there, they were replacing old ties. I talked with the crew chief and he said that this work was independent of the earthquake (it was obvious that the ties that they were replacing were damaged from age, not the earthquake). In fact, while I was talking with the crew chief, he received a call that a train was coming, so they had to hurry to replace the ties that they already removed to allow the train to pass. He wasn’t aware of any damage to RR bridges.

Bridges: One of the locals said that he seemed to think that the “bump” in the road right before the bridge was bigger as a result of the earthquake. We inspected the bridge and the bump was fairly small. There was no obvious evidence that the bump was caused by the earthquake.

Dams: I personally inspected one of the reservoir dams and saw no evidence of any damage. I plan to inspect the other two tomorrow, but I’ve already heard reports that they are fine.


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