Earthquake damages homes, historic Pawnee Nation buildings

OKLAHOMA - Denia Campbell woke up quite literally to the contents of her house dumped all over.

“It’s like the whole house went that direction,” Campbell said. “This cabinet was up here.”

She knew almost immediately it was an earthquake when she saw her dresser was lying on the bed.

She immediately went into the living room looking for her African gray parrot.

“I’m assuming she was thrown from her cage and, when I come into the living room, she was up underneath here,” Campbell said. “She was shaking a lot, so she was upset, too.”

Campbell lives in Morrison, about 12 miles from Pawnee, where the epicenter of the earthquake was located.

In downtown Pawnee, the worst damage is to the old Arkansas Valley National Bank building.

“Beautiful old sandstone building and some of the exterior façade of that building has fallen onto the sidewalk,” said Pawnee Mayor Brad Sewell.

The city cordoned off the entire corner until the building can be inspected to make sure it is structurally sound.

The Pawnee Nation Tribal Complex declared a state of emergency and several of their buildings were closed off because of severe cracks to interior walls.

“Some of them run the entire length of the whole wall. And, we have separation on the second story of this building from the ceiling and the wall,” said Andrew Knife Chief, Executive Director of the Pawnee Nation.

Senator James Lankford came into town to tour the damage.

“When a disaster like this happens over a holiday weekend, there is a sense that everyone is disconnected, when that’s not true. We are still connected, and I want everyone to be able to see it here,” Lankford said.

Back at Campbell’s home, the cleanup begins.

They’re glad to be okay but fearful of what could still be coming.

“In my opinion, they’re getting worse. And, I don’t think, you know, that we’ve seen the worst of the worst yet,” said Darrell Stewart.