Geauga County: 'Thumper Trucks' take to the road

7:26 PM, Dec 10, 2012   |    comments
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CHESTER -- Some residents thought it was a mini-earthquake shaking their Geauga County homes Sunday morning.

Phil Lowry, who lives on state Route 306 near Cedar Road, said the rumbling and shaking began about 10 a.m. Sunday and did damage to the inside and exterior of his house.

"There was small, little breakage of the windows, cracked glass in the house, the marble top across my fireplace is broken," Lowry told WKYC. "Small things like that."

The vibrations were actually caused by a team of three giant vehicles called Thumper Trucks. The technical name of the truck is a "virboseis vehicle" because it creates powerful vibrations that can resonate up to two miles beneath the surface of the ground.

"When they come in and do this kind of testing, I'm concerned because it's only a matter of time, based on the shale beds that we live on, that our whole area is going to be compromised," said Chester Township Trustee Judy Caputo.

She is especially concerned that if seismic tests show recoverable stores of natural gas or oil, and if so-called fracking wells are used to extract those resources, the water wells of township residents could be affected.

"With 11,000 people here, you ruin our well water, you're going to have lot of issues and a lot of problems and a lot of illness, I think is the next thing," she predicted, "because of what they use when they frack these wells."

Carl Eykyn was in his basement Sunday morning when he heard the vibrations rumbling his house on Route 306 just south of Cedar Road. His concern was also for what might happen in the future, should landowners decide to lease their property to exploration companies which use the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking method of drilling.

"From what I've heard further out east, they've had problems with wells and it's been in the news.  So, yeah, I'm a little concerned, so I'm hoping it's not me."  

Chester residents told WKYC they were not expecting the Thumper Trucks on Sunday morning, which over the last few months had also been on Route 44 and on Auburn Road in Munson Township. 

They indicated they would have appreciated better and more timely notification that the seismic tests, which cause very noticable vibrations and rumblings, were going to take place.


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