McCook Quarry to Review Monday Blast, Denies Responsibility for Tremor

Hinsdale police and the USGS both report that the shaking is believed to have been caused by a quarry blast.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Updated at 5:59 p.m.

There was quarry blasting going on at the Hanson Material Service site in McCook Monday, according to the Village of La Grange, but the company denies it was out of the ordinary and behind the tremor that shook the western suburbs Monday afternoon. 

"Hanson Material Service quarry has stated that they were preforming routine blasting operations at 12:35 p.m. today and that the blast was consistent with their typical operations. The quarry reports that the recorded seismic readings related to the blast were below regulatory limits," according to a message posted on the village website.

"Further, the quarry states that approximately seven seconds after the blast, a separate seismic event was recorded. Hanson is in the process of reviewing the seismic readings in order to better understand what may have occurred, but at this time they are denying any correlation between their blast and the seismic event."

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is investigating Monday's event, which the U.S. Geographic Survey (USGS) attributed to quarry blasting.

Claims for damage should be directed to the Hanson Material Service quarry by calling the Lyons Township Quarry Complaint line at 1-866-WE-HEAR-U (1-866-934-3278).

4:43 p.m.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says the magnitude of Monday afternoon's ground-shaking quarry blast in the western suburbs registered at 3.2, down from an initial estimate of 3.7 earlier in the day.

The Chicago Tribune talked to a USGS geophysicist who said the wave patterns from Monday's event do not match those of an earthquake, and that the USGS is "pretty sure" it's from a blast. 

The Tribune reports that a representative of McCook's Vulcan Materials said there was no blasting going on in their quarry Monday, and that a representative of a second McCook quarry, operated by Hanson Material Service, would not comment on whether there was blasting going on Monday.

Read the full Tribune story here.

The McCook Police Department has not been able to confirm to Patch that the blast came from one of the village's quarries.

1:13 p.m.

The U.S. Geological Survey is now reporting that the tremor felt Monday afternoon in Hinsdale was from a quarry blast in the Countryside area. 

The USGS had previously reported the tremor as magnitude-3.7 earthquake.

1:06 p.m.

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that a magnitude 3.7 earthquake took place Monday at 12:35 p.m.

The epicenter of the quake, the USGS reports, was in Indian Head Park.

Editor's note: The USGS has since reported that the tremor was caused by a quarry blast. See update above.

Original story:

A tremor was felt in Hinsdale at approximately 12:30 p.m. Monday, but Hinsdale police say it is not believed to have been caused by an earthquake. 

"We had just felt a tremor and although it remains unconfirmed, but preliminary indication received is that this was a quarry blast that was felt fairly strong in the Hinsdale community," Deputy Chief Mark Wodka of the Hinsdale Police Department said in an email Monday at 12:40 p.m.

The National Weather Service tweeted at 12:44 p.m. that it had received reports of the tremor:

"We received a call from our Oak Brook observer about what appeared to be a minor earthquake at 1236 PM CST. Shaking lasted ~5 sec."

What Western Springs Patch's Facebook fans are saying:

  • Stephanie Drenth Holt "I'd call it more than a tremor. The whole house shook right down to the foundation. It felt like a truck fell on it. If this was a quarry blast, I want to know what went wrong over there."
  • Denise Alberts: "yes, felt it. sitting at my desk at home. I've been through many earthquakes in California. I knew what that was immediately. Freaky. Quite a shallow one!"
  • Ashley Ballard Miller: "Scared the heck out of me in Ridgewood!"

Did you feel the tremor? Tell us about it in the comments!

There are plenty of ways to keep up on Western Springs news:

Editor's note: This story previously cited Hinsdale police as saying that Countryside police had confirmed preliminarily that the tremor was caused by a quarry blast. Countryside police told Patch that they had only the information supplied by the USGS and had not independently confirmed the blast. 
Lea MacIntosh November 04, 2013 at 02:59 PM
I didn't know that quarry was still in use - let alone that blasting was still taking place. My initial thought was that today's wind had caused a tree to fall on our house.
Susan Di Loreto November 04, 2013 at 09:30 PM
I Old Town North, I heard a big boom and then the house shook violently. I thought something had crashed into my house! I didn't think earthquake because of the boom, but I thought maybe a sonic boom!
Muddy Waters November 05, 2013 at 02:14 AM
Trying to finish off work on their Joliet Road project ?


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