Ice quakes frighten St. Francois County residents

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ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI)-- The intense cold may be causing problems you`ve never heard of, but they're hearing them loud and clear in St. Francois County.

Jarring noises that sound like gunshots and fireworks through the night.

Residents say they heard noises all night long that may have been caused by the unbearable frigid weather.

Dave and Charlene Hagerty own an insurance company in Park Hills. They live here in Ter du Lac and between midnight and six Monday morning they heard all sorts of loud noises.

She posted her experience on Facebook and found out at least a half dozen people across St. Francois County heard similar things in Bonne Terre, Park Hills, Farmington and Ter du Lac.

She did some research on the internet and discovered what they all heard may have been frost quakes or ice quakes.  Meteorologist Dave Murray says it`s the same principal as potholes, water gets in the soil and freezes.

“It refreezes, it thaws, it freezes, and thaws and it creates cracks in the earth and they sound like gunshots. There`s rumbling. There can be damage from them. You can get cracks in foundations, things like that,” he said.

There was no damage. Police did not receive any calls.


  • Tonie Marler

    Washington County areas such as Potosi, Cadet, mineral point and so maybw even more cities have also experienced this today and last night.

  • Cathy walsh

    Yes I live in desloge and at 5:50am Monday I could feel and hear a rumbling . It didn’t last very long, but I told my husband I thought it was a earth quack . I also felt the one in nov 2013 .

  • Beverly

    We have a huge sink hole behind our house that happened mid January. You could fit furniture in it. Still waiting to find out what the cause and what to do.

  • Renate

    OK SYFY Channel. We had “Sharknado”, we had “10.5”, we had “Earthquake in New York” now it’s “ICEQUAKE”!!!!!

  • Chitowngal08

    My house makes exploding sounds when the weather is super cold. My son was shocked when he heard it. I just lifted my shoulder and said, it is just the cold. I wonder what would happen if I had an explosion near my home in the cold. I probably wouldn’t know the difference.

  • Dan Miller

    Oil City Pa, Oil Creek flows into the Allegheny river. I remember the ice jams being taller then a man standing as I grew up. They use to dynamite these ice jams to break them up. Every year. And they had to do this, because Oil Creek ran right beside the down town. So you would have destruction of property otherwise. Wonder if they still have this problem.

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