Gadsden County Man Remembers Alaska Earthquake

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

An earthquake shook the ground near Anchorage, AK 50 years ago today and killed more than 100 people.

A Gadsden County man remembers it like it was yesterday.

Don Fletcher was there. He lives near Quincy now, but was stationed at Elemendorf Air Force Base back then.

Fletcher says he'd been skiing that day and was on the ground floor of his barracks when he heard a big boom.

"The earthquake started, and I thought a bomb went off. I mean, not a bomb, but I thought a gas tank or something had exploded. Everything got jarred so bad, and I went outside, and the telephone poles were jumping off the ground, and the cars were sliding off the road," said Fletcher.

Fletcher says his bunk turned upside down. He says he saw moose along the fence as the base sounded its alert. When the ground stopped shaking, it started to snow.

131 people died as a result of the earthquake that day.

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