Cushing Business Owners, Residents Begin Picking Up The Pieces After Earthquake
CUSHING, Oklahoma - The damage in Cushing is quite extensive and heavy rain moved into the area Monday evening, hampering cleanup efforts.
An estimated 75 people were inside the Cushing movie theater when the earthquake struck, and they'd only been 20 watching the movie for about 20 minutes when they felt a large jolt.
"I initially thought the 'boom' was a part of the movie, but once it all went out and part of the ceiling fell down, I didn't think it was the movie anymore," said Ben Stokes, Cushing resident.
After parts of the ceiling fell in, the movie-goers ran outside of the theater, Stokes said.
Many Cushing businesses remain closed Monday.
Some of the historic buildings in Cushing date back to the 1920s. The roofs of some of the buildings caved in the older buildings and the bricks on the exterior of some buildings crumbled off the side of the buildings.
The Old Song Sung Antique shop has been housed for more than 15 years in one of the century-old buildings downtown.
"As old as these building are it coulda been a lot worse," said booth owner Gary Smith said.
That doesn't change that a big chunk of the ceiling is missing and countless items are still broken and tossed around.
"This is kind of what it looks like pretty much all over the store - mostly glass, a lot of broken glass," Smith said.
For 10 years, Smith has rented booth space at Connie's Old Songs Sung antique shop; so it's only right for him to help put things back in order.
The inside isn't the only damage - bricks falling from the top of the building ended up landing on the ground and crashing through a window.
When it comes to antiques, Smith said many of the items hold great memories, and you can sense the passion in the people who sell them.
"Some of it there is a lot of history in it, but there's just a lot of time and energy that these ladies put in in gathering all this stuff - and when you lose stuff like this you can't replace it, so they just have to back and start picking up a again," Smith said.
Smith said he's felt plenty of earthquakes and has a feeling this one won’t be the last; but, he hopes the next won't be near as strong.
"You rattle these old brick buildings for so many times and they are going to be unsafe," he said.
The owners said it take up to a month for business to be to normal.