Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Great Sinkhole Earthquake of 2011

I'm putting this in writing so that when the entire southwest portion of Austin gets swallowed by the karst, everyone will know that there was a warning sign. At a stamping class. Specifically, my stamping class.

This only recently made sense to me when last week, a sinkhole developed in downtown Austin. Much hilarity ensued, including this Twitter account, and one of my tweets to it getting published on the Austin Business Journal site.

Anyway, something clicked in my brain when this happened.

Rewind to November 5th, 2011. I was having my monthly stamp class at Mandola's. (map here) Also, I have no idea why it says "happy hour - meat sauce" on the Google Map - LOL. Whatever.

About halfway through my class, something very frightening happened. A loud roar, and the building shaking caught us all off guard. It sounded like a 747 was flying right next to the building.

We were very rattled and went and looked out the windows. It was a clear, beautiful day and nothing seemed amiss. It took a while for everyone to settle back into class because it was unnerving.

When I got home I was chatting with my co-worker, Beate, who described an earthquake they'd had that day. She said she heard that same loud roar. I emailed one of my stampy students - Brittany, and said this: "I hope you don't think I'm crazy. I was just chatting with Beate (she's in Edmond OK) and they had an earthquake.What she described is exactly what happened to us this morning :-/ I wonder if we got a rumble on our fault line??" First of all, thank God for Gmail so I could find this email. Secondly, Austin sits on the Balcones Fault, so I assumed that was what happened.

I did the citizen reporting on the USGS and encouraged my peeps to do the same, but they never recorded an official earthquake.

Now, coincidentally, my sister had been photographing the large pond next to Mandola's for several weeks. Her HOA was looking for contractors to repair a leaking pond in her neighborhood and she was doing research, as the company that built the pond near Mandola's was being considered.

Well smack me and call me Edna if a LARGE sinkhole didn't develop in this very location on or about November 18th. It started as a small leak, and got bigger and bigger and bigger until it was what you see in that news story.

So what we heard in my class was the giant karst that runs underneath several square miles surrounding this property collapsing. Here's a picture that was taken after they drained the pond. That building with the red trim is where my class was.

photo credit: Cynthia Wilcox


I will never, ever forget that sound.

But you know what's scary? When this happened during class, the very first thing we all did was freeze. It's impossible to absorb AND react to something big like that. A friend recently told me that fight or flight is a fallacy. What all animals really do is FREEZE, fight or flight. That's exactly what we did. Next time, hopefully I'll be better prepared. Or wait - hopefully there isn't a next time. That's what I meant :).

Here's a card I made for VSN. I love VSN because I get SO many cards done in such a short period of time, and I end up liking them better than cards I spend a ton of time on.

The background for this card is a ghost print I did in my Gelli Printing class. That circle you see was just a punched circle from Whisper White that I used as a mat.

Pin It
Stamps: A Round Array
Ink: Basic Black
Paper: Whisper White
Accessories: Lace Tape, Gelli Plate, Star punch, Circle Punches

If I'm swallowed whole by a sinkhole, please remember - I sent up a flare. :)



  1. Baawhaahahaha! I love your posts! And this card is really cool, too. We need more gelli!

  2. WOW girl that is scary (not your card, that is precious). You were so close to that thing!

  3. I sure hope you all stay safe. Nature is pretty unpredictable, huh. Take care and stamp on!


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