From The Epicenter Of The Earthquake To A Feeling Of Peace, Thanks To The Magna Community

Mar 19, 2020, 2:12 PM | Updated: 2:35 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – What a start to the new decade. From the superstar names passing away in January and February to the coronavirus outbreak to a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Utah. It’s been a wild start to the year for those who cover and enjoy sports.

That earthquake hit my hometown of Magna. I was born and raised in the small town that is located near the Great Salt Lake. I attended Cyprus High School, home of the Pirates.

Since I graduated in 2008, I have stayed near Magna and currently reside just outside of the West Valley City and Magna border which separates the two places at 7200 west.

I am just 4.6 miles away from the Magna Library which is located on main street, the epicenter of the 5.7 earthquake that shook the state of Utah on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

The Earthquake Experience

The earthquake hit the Salt Lake valley and beyond at 7:09 a.m. Like most people in the state, I was sleeping in my home. When the earthquake initially hit, I woke up but it took about five seconds to really hit me that we were experiencing an earthquake.

It felt like a giant wind storm was sweeping through my house, like I didn’t have any windows to protect us from the wind. My wife jumped out of bed screaming that it was an earthquake. She immediately ran into my 4-year old son’s room which is across the hall from our bedroom.

My son was still dead asleep (which is impressive). His drawers on his dresser came flying open and the artwork on his walls came falling down. I met my wife in the hallway as I literally jumped out of bed and bolted to the door. My wife handed my son off to me to carry downstairs to our kitchen.

In our home, we have a wall that doesn’t quite reach the ceiling that separates our kitchen from our front living room. On that landing, my wife decorated that area with glass vases. In the earthquake, all of those vases and glass fell off and covered my floor with shattered glass.

I carried my son down the stars in my bare feet and didn’t even realize the glass until I stepped on it. Luckily, I didn’t cut my feet. My family rushed to our kitchen table to take cover until the earthquake passed all the way through.

When the initial earthquake stopped, I took my family out to our front yard where we found the rest of my neighbors.

After about 40 minutes outside, my family and I went inside to assess the damage. I was more fortunate than others in my area. The shattered glass and a broken jar of spaghetti sauce was the extent of the damage in my home. Also, when the earthquake hit, my house lost power and it wasn’t restored until 12:30 p.m.

The Aftermath

While I was standing outside, my neighbor told me that the epicenter of the earthquake was in Magna. I immediately thought about my parents who still reside in the town. They live about eight blocks west of my house in West Valley.

I walked up to my room to grab my phone when I noticed I had a missed call from my dad. I called my mom who answered and said that they were okay. They had some damage but none to the foundation of their home. But, they had two of their three TV’s break in the earthquake (they are loyal viewers of KSL 5 News).

I also have an older brother who lives in the neighborhood just southwest of mine. His family is okay and no significant damage was done to their home.

Now that we knew the extent of the damage in our homes, we went to work to clean our home from all of the shattered glass and displacement of items from the earthquake. But, during that time and even to this moment of writing this story, the aftershocks has been nerve-racking.

We had a 4.6 magnitude aftershock happen around 1 p.m. on Wednesday and a 2.7 aftershock on Thursday around 1 p.m. among the many others over the last 30-plus hours.

Community Coming Together

Having been born and raised in the town of Magna, I have heard the jokes about the reputation that Magna has around the rest of the Wasatch Front. Which some of it is true. But, to see the community come together in a time of crisis, made me proud to be from Magna.

This story isn’t about “poor me” or me reaching out to get any kind of spotlight. It’s simply to let you know that the community in Magna and West Valley came together when people needed it the most.

My home was nowhere near the damage that was suffered by the trailer park homes on the West Valley side of 7200 west. Some of those people are doing everything they can to provide for their families and in the time that we were already in with COVID-19, this just added more stress to those who didn’t deserve it.

When I had a high level of stress when dealing with the damage in my home and the aftershocks to even the point where I couldn’t go to sleep on Wednesday because I had “phantom aftershocks” while laying in bed.

What eased that stress is seeing the outpour of love and support on social media. I knew that my experience wasn’t as bad as theirs and that my day-to-day life didn’t significantly change. It made me want to reach out and offer a helping hand to those that need it.

The area that I live in is considered West Valley but it is close enough to Magna that I consider our community as a part of theirs. I had many phone calls and text messages on Wednesday from friends, family and coworkers that it gave me a sense of comfort and I certainly felt all of the support.

I especially felt the support from my KSL Sports family. From the flexibility from my boss that allowed me to attend to my issues at home and taking care of my family was relieving. My wonderful coworkers deserve a lot of credit for having to fill in for me in order to bring you the best content from the sports world in the state of Utah, especially in a unique time where there is not any live sports due to the pandemic.

I am grateful to work for such a great organization that preaches family first.

Lastly, I hope that you will reach out to the local businesses that were impacted by this earthquake. A couple of establishments in downtown Magna were severely damaged and it is unknown if they will open their doors again. Also, with the other businesses around the state that were profiled on the news throughout the day deserve some relief.

It’s a difficult time we live in but if we can get through a pandemic and a 5.7 earthquake, we can get through anything.

Trevor Allen is the Utah Utes Insider for and is the host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter and check out the podcast, here


BYU Football, Dean Jones, Korbyn Green, Micah Harper, Dom Henry...
Mitch Harper

BYU Fans Celebrate Return Of Annual Cougar Kickoff

Check out photos from the return of BYU's fan-friendly Cougar Kickoff event.
10 hours ago
Eric Jensen

The Three Most Difficult Stretches For The Jazz This Season

With roster turnover and the new schedule, here are the toughest stretches of basketball for the Utah Jazz during the 2022-23 season. 
1 day ago
Vivint Arena partially filled due to COVID-19 NBA test protocol. (Photo: Ben Anderson/KSL Sports))...
Ben Anderson

Is TNT Betting On A Donovan Mitchell, Jazz-Knicks Trade?

TNT appears to be betting on a Donovan Mitchell trade to the New York Knicks though the Jazz are largely ignored on national TV broadcasts.
1 day ago
Micah Bernard - Utah Utes...
Eric Jensen

Micah Bernard Looks Forward To Depth In Utah Running Back Room

Micah Bernard is ecstatic about the running back depth in the Utah backfield this season.
1 day ago
Solomon Enis - Utah Utes - SDSU Aztecs...
Michelle Bodkin

Bumphis, Utah Receivers Growing Together

Second-year wide receivers coach Chad Bumphis is out to change that perception, and by all accounts, his group is every bit as motivated as he is while they grow together
1 day ago
Ben Anderson

Jazz Unveil 2022-23 Schedule

The Utah Jazz have unveiled the schedule for the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season which opens on October 19 against the Denver Nuggets.
1 day ago
From The Epicenter Of The Earthquake To A Feeling Of Peace, Thanks To The Magna Community