Our lead reporter, Jessica Jaglois and I are best buddies and we live together in town. At around 1:50 Tuesday afternoon, I was in my bathroom putting on make-up and jamming out to my favorite hip-hop Pandora station getting ready to head to the studios for work. Jess was in her room taking a nap. Then, my 20 pound fat cat named "Sunny" started low crawling like a soldier on the ground, my lap top started vibrating on the bathroom counter and the whole apartment began to rumble.
First, I thought it was an upstairs neighbor moving the biggest dresser in the world across the floor. I went outside to see if I could pin-point which apartment unit it was coming from so I could bang on the ceiling with a broom like a good neighbor... But the second I set foot outside, I realized that the actual ground itself was trembling.
I joined other residents who had also run outside trying to figure out what was going on. We looked at each other bewildered and kind of scared... and then it stopped.
I ran back inside to find a frantic Jessica running around in her Pj's looking for me. "I think we just had an earthquake!", she yelled. "No way," I responded; and went straight to Twitter and Facebook to see if anyone else had felt the earth move.
I watched as tweet after tweet and post after post popped up from friends around Charlottesville, up in Washington, DC, and as far north as Toronto, Canada all wondering if we had just experienced and earthquake.
Jess and I kicked it into high gear and were out the doors and off the the WCAV studios excitedly anticipating an epic day of breaking news.
Everyone at the Newsplex hit the ground running to find out everything we could think of that our viewers might want to know about the 5.8 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter just around the corner in Mineral.
We broke in to our scheduled programming and Jim Hanchett mounted the anchor desk for hours of wall to wall coverage of the events. Morning and night reporters, anchors, producers, and photogs all fanned out into the community to assess the situation. We all worked together to keep the facts flowing as Jim calmly relayed emergency information to our viewers, and let them know that although it was scary, damage and injuries were minimal.
The phones were ringing off the hook and it felt amazing to know that our viewers were counting on us and we didn't dissappoint.
This is what we all got into news for: to get important information to the masses during a hectic time. This is what being a reporter, anchor, producer, and director is all about. I love my job.
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