Earthquake in U.S. Southeast Affects Virginia DOT Operations

August 25, 2011

RICHMOND, VA - The 5.9 earthquake in Virginia rattled fleets in the area but caused relatively little damage, though it did temporarily slow down operations at the Virginia Department of Transportation's shop facilities.

Government Fleet spoke with Erle Potter, state equipment manager, Virginia DOT, who explained that some of the DOT's shop buildings have cracks and potential structural damage. DOT personnel are in the process of inspecting the buildings to see whether they are usable, and in the meantime employees can't use those facilities, Potter said. He added that Virginia DOT is inspecting bridges and other highway structures for potential damage but that none has been reported so far.

"It was rather scary in this high-rise building, and we all had to evacuate for over an hour," Potter said.

GF contacted other fleets in the area and most reported little or effect to their fleet operations. The City of Richmond reported no damage to equipment or buildings, and Fleet Operations Administrator Brian Howard stated the fleet was more concerned about preparations for Hurricane Irene on Tuesday than the earthquake itself. Louisa County (where the epicenter of the earthquake struck) General Services reported no damages, although employees were sent home at 2 p.m. They came back to work the next day. The Washington D.C. fleet also reported no damages to vehicles.

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