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Hunter Durham recalls close call in 1959 Earthquake

With earthquakes a current reality in Mexico, new rattlings on the west coast, and even recent tremors caused by the New Madrid fault felt in Kentucky, Columbia, KY attorney Hunter Durham recalled his experience while on a summer job in Yellowstone National Park when he was just out of Adair County High School
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By Linda Waggener

Henry Hunter Durham may be the most famous local survivor of America's Yellowstone National Park earthquake, on August 17, 1959.

He was able to wrangle a coveted summer job through his own initiative, which suffered no handicap from the fact that his father, O.A. Cotton Durham, then Adair County Attorney, was a respected leader in State Republican politics, a man of influence and connections.


Hunter's eyes light up to this day when reminded of the event today at lunch. Yes, he said, he was right in the middle of it.

He remembers he was riding in a car and thought at first the car had a flat tire. He stopped, walked around the vehicle and found no flat tire.

Back in the vehicle, he started driving and it was still rumbling; this time he thought it must be the motor. Stopped again, opened the hood of the car, all was well there.

They looked over their shoulders then in time to see a huge boulder drop, making a 30-foot hole in the roadway they'd just traveled on and passed on safely, only later learning the extent of the quakes damage, and that 28 visitors to the park had been killed in the quake.
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This story was posted on 2017-09-25 19:36:44


 

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