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Some quake repairs still under way
A year later, communities still are repairing quake damage

 Roofers put round-tailed, yellow-cedar shingles on the roof of Salubria in Culpeper.
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Date published: 8/23/2012


The most prominent reminder of last year's earthquake in Culpeper is the gaping hole on North Main Street where the Ritz Hi Hat/Levy building stood for more than 150 years.

That brick structure, whose front facade began to pull away and lean toward the sidewalk following the initial quake, was torn down a week later when an aftershock made the structure even more unstable.

A year later, there are no plans to replace the Ritz Hi Hat building. Its owner had no earthquake insurance.

The little alleyway sandwich shop next door has been braced from both the outside and inside but remains unoccupied, costing its owner thousands of dollars in lost rent.

The upper facades on two other buildings in the same block and another on Davis Street also had to be replaced at their owners' expense.

Repairs to the brick building at the corner of South East and Culpeper streets were completed only recently. New mortar is evident where re-pointing has been done on the brickwork at the rear of the old Central Hardware building (now a steakhouse).

This summer, the chimney on the Sheriff's Office, another victim of the quake, was finally replaced, while dozens of others within the town and county needed repairs after being damaged.

Hardest hit, at least financially, was St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, which suffered almost $1 million in cosmetic and structural damage.

Most of those repairs have been made to the 191-year-old sanctuary, where Gens. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are said to have worshiped during the Civil War, but the congregation is now embarking on a two-year fundraising effort to help pay for the restoration.

--Donnie Johnston


Dominion power says it is prepared for future earthquakes at North Anna Power Station, and that it is planning ahead to better respond to natural hazards.

With two reactors, North Anna was the first U.S. nuclear power plant to be shut down by an earthquake. Though there was no significant damage to operating or safety systems, the quake's ground motion briefly exceeded that for which the plant was designed. Both reactors were offline for nearly three months for inspections before being allowed to restart last November.

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