Residents in Nelson

Thunder-like boom in West Kootenay prompts speculation

Rumbling sound was heard in Salmo, Trail, Rossland, Castlegar, Nelson and other communities.

No one’s quite sure what caused a loud, rumbling noise Saturday morning heard by people from Salmo, Fruitvale, Trail, Rossland, Castlegar, Nelson, and points in between.

Many people on the Farm the Kootenays Facebook page reported hearing it and suggested what it might have been.

According to Robert Bailer and Alison Duff, dogs began barking at 6 a.m.

“I heard that in Rossland! I just assumed it was blasting on the highway,” wrote Betty R. Rekster.

“Reminded me of Mt. St. Helen’s when I heard it,” wrote Jim Ross.

Brittanie Reid wrote “I heard it was an explosion at Copper Mountain in Princeton,” but the Similkameen Spotlight confirmed there was no such explosion reported there on Saturday.

Both Sheri Ferraro and Ryan Lewis reported feeling their houses shake during the sound. Though some thought it might be an earthquake, Meghan Osborne wrote “I lived in South California all my life … I’ve never heard an earthquake sound like that.”

Kathy Whitney suggested: “Fracking for oil in nearby Idaho or Washington?”

Some were reminded of the 2007 incident in which a low-flying jet woke up citizens and shook houses in Trail, prompting a response from BC Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko.

Michael Guy wrote “For it to have travelled over so many ranges it would’ve needed to originate high up. I think sonic boom from a military jet is the best explanation.”

But Ross took issue with that.

“The sound from Mt. St. Helens traveled all the way here when it happened. Doesn’t have to originate from high up to travel long distances. Mt. St. Helens was heard as far north as Prince George.”

Seismologist Taimi Mulder, who works with the Geographical Survey of Canada, said the noise could have been the result of blasting, road construction or rock quarrying.

None of their instruments registered the event, which means it was “definitely not an earthquake.”

She said the fact the noise traveled such a distance means it traveled through the air. She noted the communities affected draw a line down the Columbia River, and said it was most likely a sonic boom caused by a military jet or a meteorite passing overheard, which could create shockwaves capable of shaking a house.

Other commenters linked to articles suggesting the event was caused by the Arietids meteor shower, which happens annually between May and July.

“When you hear the noise associated, the rock has to enter through the atmosphere which leaves a trail of light and creates a sonic boom. But it’s harder to see during daylight,” said Mulder.

That might explain why no one reported seeing anything. These showers are reportedly hard to identify with the human eye.

“In my experience the most likely thing here is a military aircraft or a meteorite. That’s what it’s always been in the past,” said Mulder.

 

Just Posted

Nelson Leafs’ win marred by dangerous play

Nelson is undefeated through the first five games of the season

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Slocan seniors’ housing hosts grand opening Sept. 27

The society wants to give the public a glimpse before tenants move in and the weather changes.

LETTERS: Tom Fletcher analysis is as outdated as the Edsel

Dona grace-Campbell takes issue with columnist Tom Fletcher’s column on the carbon tax

VIDEO: Lydia Kania is here to skunk you

The Vallican track athlete has turned to cribbage in her senior years

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

Most Read