KFP: Loud boom, earth shake rattles Lenoir Co.

by Jane Moon

Residents around Lenoir County experienced a mysterious “boom” accompanied with the ground shaking around noon Wednesday, and many are still trying to figure out what caused the loud noise.

More than a dozen people from La Grange to Kinston to Wyse Fork called the Lenoir County 911 center around lunchtime to report a “loud explosion” that shook the walls and rattled the windows of their homes and businesses.

Roger Dail, director of Lenoir County Emergency Management Services, said his department is still trying to find out the source of the boom.

“We do not have a clue what caused it,” he said.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s real time earthquake map, there were no earthquakes in the Southeastern United States Wednesday.

Jennifer Allen, a sales associate at Networks East on West Vernon Avenue, said the door of a delivery truck outside her building had just opened when the shaking started.

She said there was no damage to the Networks East building, though.

“We didn’t see anything and we continued on about our day,” she said.

Some suspected a sonic boom created from military aircraft could have been the blame.

 “My understanding (sonic booms are) illegal and hopefully that’s not what happened, but it is kind of unimaginable that it would be anything else,” Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy said.

 Dail said military personnel from a military base, though he would not confirm which one, squashed reports of a plane or other device breaking the sound barrier

 According to a NASA presentation to the Federal Aviation Administration, a sonic boom would cause “boom” sound that can be heard inside of a building followed by rattling of the structure.

 Dail said there were no reported damages or power outages in the county because of the boom.


Wesley Brown and David Anderson contributed to this report. You can reach Jane Moon at 252-559-1082 or at jmoon@freedomenc.com.