Solutions: Manhattan

Despite the growth Manhattan has experienced, Main Street has changed little over the past century.

Sheri Langehough has become so used to random tremors in her Manhattan bar, the shock and novelty has begun to fade.

“We’re getting so seasoned to it, we think, ‘Is it a train or an earthquake?’” Langehough said.

Langehough owns Broken Arrow Bar and Casino on Main Street in Manhattan. It’s partially housed in a historic building, and Langehough said she’s worried a larger earthquake could cause serious damage to the aging structure.

However, the bar weathered about eleven minor tremors in the last five days without any damage.

After the Chronicle published a story about nine quakes last weekend, southwest Montana experienced two more. At 10:27 p.m., Monday evening, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake struck northwest of Manhattan, and was the largest tremor to hit in the last month. On Tuesday at 12:08 p.m., a 2.9 magnitude quake hit in the same area.

The U.S. Geological Survey identified the quakes and tracks them on interactive maps that can be found at usgs.gov.

USGS geophysicist John Bellini said the service can not make any predictions about whether the series of earthquakes will continue. He said people in Montana should be aware that the state is prone to seismic activity, and that earthquakes are common.

“We don’t see anything significant coming out of the area,” Bellini said.

Bellini said the tremors near Manhattan are far enough away from earthquake-prone Yellowstone National Park that they are unrelated.

Manhattan Mayor Glen Clements said he had a few frames fall off the walls of his house Monday night, but that was the worst of it. As for the town, Clements said he isn’t concerned about damage from minor quakes.

“Of course, we have underground utilities, like natural gas pipes. But they were manufactured to withstand much bigger earthquakes. I don’t think we really have anything to worry about,” Clements said.

Clements said it’s important to note that there is no fracking or drilling taking place near Manhattan, so the quakes can’t be human caused.

No matter where the earthquakes stem from, Langehough is ready for the swarm of tremors to end.

“We’re getting tired of it,” Langehough said.

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