NewsCovering Kern County


Kerr McGee Community Center provides safety for Ridgecrest residents

Posted at 6:45 AM, Jul 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-06 09:56:32-04

RIDGECREST, Calif. — Hundreds of community members from all over Ridgecrest and the surrounding communities have been filling through the doors at the Kerr McGee Community Center and many say they are on edge and worried about what may come next.

Brian Cat has been up all night.

"I can't sleep. I'm wide awake. It ain't going to happen, so my family is in the Red Cross shelter right now and I am up."

Cat says his home town of Trona is just seven miles away from the epicenter of where the 7.1 magnitude earthquake took place shortly after 8 last night. Cat and his family were just sitting down for dinner.

"My house started shaking pretty violently. Immediately I jumped up and started ordering everyone out of the house."

Cat and hundreds of other community members from in and around Ridgecrest filed in the doors of the Kerr McGee Community Center seeking shelter and safety.

"Grabbed onto each other with the hopes that the pictures that were on the wall wouldn't hit us and tried to ride it out," explained April Humins. "We had a TV fall. We heard glass breaking in the other room."

Many evacuees feeling the jolt from being pushed out of their homes.

"I don't know what to do because I have a lot of problems in these kinds of conditions... I'm sorry," cried one elderly resident.

The evacuation center provides a safe haven for pets and residents, but some are still uneasy about the aftershocks the United States Geological Survey has forecasted.

"The only thing I am worried about is something bigger happening," added Brian Cat.

The evacuation center is equipped to hold 200 residents. So far officials say they still have room for more people but they may consider opening up another location depending on what happens. For now, they are doing what they can to keep the center stocked with supplies and keep everyone comfortable.