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Cushing residents on edge after two more quakes rock the area

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CUSHING, Okla. - Dual earthquakes rocked the Cushing area early Tuesday morning.

The 3.3 and 4.0 magnitude quakes come just two weeks after a 5.0 earthquake caused extensive damage in the town.

Other than a few more stones falling from one building already damaged downtown, there was no physical damage from Tuesday’s earthquakes.

Residents are talking more about the mental and emotional anguish all of this shaking is causing.

“I heard a bam, and I fell out of bed, ran to the front door. Because I was scared after the last one, I was going to run outside,” said Debbie Rossiter. “I live in a house on South Noble that got damaged before so, yeah, it scared me to death.”

Heather Boylen is in the same boat.

“It scares us. We all jump out. First thing we want to do is run outside, because I don’t think our house can take another hit like the last one. More of our ceiling fell in this morning from downstairs,” Boylen said.

Boylen does not have earthquake insurance and said she can’t afford to fix the damage to her home from the 5.0 earthquake.

“Nope, it’ll probably just go back to the bank,” she said.

City and county leaders met Tuesday morning to discuss long-term recovery.

The executive director of the Chamber of Commerce stressed the need for mental health services as well, saying residents are suffering from something similar to PTSD.

“You’re just on edge all the time. So, it runs a lot deeper than just the cosmetics of it,” said Tracy Caulfield. “You know, you’ve got damage from the first one. Is this going to affect the second? Are my walls going to come down? Are my chimneys going to fall this time?”

Unfortunately for the community, the damage estimates did not meet the threshold to qualify for either federal or state assistance.

“It’s frustrating when you see the big need that we have and there is no assistance,” said Payne County Emergency Manager Jeff Kuhn.

Several structures have been deemed a total loss, including the American Legion.

But, the commander said they’ll build back with a stronger building.

“One that will withstand a five pointer anyhow,” said Jim Hunter.

And, while the buildings can be repaired, the tension of not knowing when the next one will hit is not going away.

Kuhn said they will be looking to volunteer organizations to step in and help fill the gap in assistance.