Sayre native experiences Alaskan earthquake

When 2003 Sayre graduate Megan Lea Fillmore moved with her family to Wasilla, Alaska, she knew weather preparedness would be essential to her family’s success in the untamed wilderness of the Arctic.

She learned on Friday that, regardless of their snow clothes and snow tires, Mother Nature can strike in especially unpredictable ways with the infamous earthquake of the Pacific Ring of Fire strike in the Alaskan Icebox.

“The sun comes out right now about 9:30 am and goes down at about 3:45 pm,” she explained. “I was driving my son to his babysitter when the earthquake hit. I felt it immediately.”

As she was driving her son from her Wasilla, Alaska, home, she describes her vehicle as swaying back and forth as though she had collided with a large object.

“What is ironic is in October, we had done a statewide drill called ‘the Great Alaskan Shakeout,’ so we knew this could happen. Of course, we didn’t think it would so quickly, but we have been aware that an earthquake could strike,” she  explained.

As she pulled up to her young son’s babysitters, she saw firsthand the damage the 7.0 quake had reeked upon her friends and neighbors.

“Our babysitter, who is one of my best friends, has a house that was basically destroyed on the inside. Every cabinet, every drawer was thrown upon the ground. Every picture was off the wall. The TVs were shook the ground. Furniture was turned over,” she described.

As she and her young son were waiting to enter the house, the first of the aftershocks struck, a 5.0 quake that still rattles her 3-year-old.

“By luck, I was with him through all this, but he is still so scared. Earthquakes are all he can talk about.”

Fillmore and her husband Jeremy moved to Alaska by a chance headhunter’s job offer her husband could not turn down at a dialysis center. 

“We didn’t call Alaska,” she laughed. “Alaska called us.”

After Fillmore’s husband received the unprompted offer last year, the couple felt they couldn’t turn down the opportunity to both increase their income and expose their family to sights unseen. 

Ironically, they ha..

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition

Pictured: Jeremy, Megan, and Fin Fillmore. The Fillmore family faced several road detours due to the 7.0 earthquake in route to the Anchorage International Airport last weekend. Courtesy photos

The Beckham County Record

112 E Main Street 
Sayre, OK 73662
Phone: 580-928-5540
Fax: 580-928-5547
1119 W 3rd Street
Elk City, OK 73644
Phone: 580-303-7318