People rattled after earthquake felt in North Carolina causes significant damage

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SPARTA, N.C. (WGHP) — People in North Carolina are still shaken after Sunday morning’s 5.1 magnitude earthquake.

In Sparta, North Carolina, it left a significant amount of damage downtown, with bricks falling off several buildings.

“We had gotten woken up by a boom a little after two and couldn’t go back to sleep,” said Jacob Church, a Sparta resident.

“At first it was like, ‘What’s going on?’ None of us were injured. I think it’s a cool thing to be a part of that,” said Brandon Lineberry, who was visiting at the time.

The quake rattled a cemetery so hard, it uprooted headstones from the ground. Just a few miles from downtown, the North Carolina Department of Transportation was dealing with the damage to a water main.

“We’re just trying to get it back open. It’s buckled up the road a little from the water main, from the earthquake, and we’re just trying to get it back to normal,” said Jeffery Jones, with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The damage was significant at Scott’s Landscaping Nursery and Farms, leaving several cracks in the parking lot and shattering pottery.

“It’s been a rough morning. You don’t expect anything like this to happen here because it doesn’t happen here,” said owner Scott Smith, adding that “2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people.”

The mayor of Sparta, Wes Brinegar, issued a state of emergency Sunday after the earthquake hit.

No injuries had been reported. 

The mayor said Sunday there was widespread minor damage to homes, with structures and chimneys being knocked off. 

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