Small earthquakes shook the ground in NC and TN on Sunday

Did you feel the earth move beneath your feet in WNC last weekend? You may have experienced one of two small earthquakes that struck the region on Sunday. The first was a 2.2-magnitude quake near Greenville, TN, which struck about 3:30 a.m. Saturday night/ Sunday morning. The second quake, a 2.5-magnitude shakeup, struck the Mars Hill and Weaverville area around 12:23 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Quakes below 2.5-magnitude generally are not felt by people, though they do show up on a seismograph, and those below 4.0-magnitude typically cause no damage. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the Eastern Tennessee seismic zone is one of the most active in the Southeast. The zone runs across Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. 

Disorder detected in FL panthers and bobcats

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has detected a disorder in some Florida panthers and bobcats that impacts the animal’s ability to walk normally or the degree to which they can control their back legs. As of this month, one bobcat and one panther have been confirmed to have the disorder, but wildlife cameras have caught eight panthers (mostly kittens) and one adult bobcat with the same symptoms on video. 

A definitive cause has not yet been determined. The FWC is testing for potential toxins, including rat pesticide, as well as infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies. The public can help by submitting trail footage that captures animals that have problems with their hind legs to Panther.Sightings@MyFWC.com

Join Litter Sweep and help clean up NC roadways

Does the trash along the roadways take away from your enjoyment of the surrounding natural beauty as you drive down the road to your favorite trailhead? If you want to help make a dent in the litter, join the NC Department of Transportation’s biannual statewide road cleanup, which takes place twice a year in April and September. This year, Litter Sweep will be held September 14-28.

Volunteers and NCDOT maintenance crews will devote an entire week to picking up litter on the roadside. If you’d like to participate, NCDOT will provide orange and blue trash bags, gloves and safety vests from your local NCDOT county maintenance yard. Contact a local litter coordinator to learn more: https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/adoptahighway/Pages/coordinators.aspx