Mineral, VA - A year ago Thursday that unforgettable earthquake rocked the tiny town of Mineral. The 5.8 magnitude quake was felt from Georgia to New England. It's been a challenging year for Mineral, rebuilding and getting back on its feet. But, they've made a lot of progress.
Aftershocks have hit Mineral as recently as last month, so some are still jumpy. As for the infrastructure, the county needs a couple new schools. But the town looks better than it did a year ago.
The 2011 earthquake hit Miller's Market in Mineral hard. One year later, Miller's Market is open again for business. But the owner says he's gotten no help from the government.
"About $13,000 was total repair. There's some cracks that extend here," said David Whitlock, owner of Mineral Auto Parts.
Mineral Avenue is up and running again. Many store fronts have healed from the blow. Plus, about $30,000 from FEMA helped repair some homes.
"Everyone's on an even keel, I think," said Mineral Mayor Pamela Harlowe.
Except for the schools:
"The only thing that was really interrupted was if you had school children because our schools were totally lost," said Harlowe.
The mobile units are where elementary and high school students go to learn. Technically, they are called "pods." For kids, they are classrooms. The hope is in two to three years, students will get a new school again.
Mineral has rebuilt a lot of its infrastructure, but emotionally, there are years of work ahead.
"When a train goes by, do you shake a little bit?" we asked.
"I always try to make sure it's a train," said Whitlock, as a train roared past behind the shop.
Mineral does not want to be caught off guard by another big quake. The school district now does earthquake drills. In fact, they had one planned for 1:51 p.m. Thursday- the exact moment when the quake struck one year ago.