Landmark New Jersey Statue Shaken by Quake

August 26, 2011

A day after a rare strong East Coast earthquake rattled New Jersey, the worst of the damage appears to be a landmark statue in Camden and perhaps some structural damage in Bridgeton.

The Nuclear Regulatory Agency said no problems were found in inspections of the state’s four nuclear power plants during the post-quake inspections.

The Hope Creek, Salem I and II reactors in Salem County and the Oyster Creek reactor in Lacey Township – the nation’s oldest operating nuclear plant – all continued to run at full power after the quake.

The ‘”unusual event” status they were under was canceled by Wednesday morning.

Elsewhere, the quake sparked engineering questions.

One of them: how to secure a section of the 30-foot Blessed Mother statue atop Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden that shifted.

Lourdes spokeswoman Carol Lynn Daly told The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill the hospital has closed its main entrance as a safety measure.

Daly says engineers hope to secure the statue with a brace, however it may have to be disassembled for repair.

The quake also is blamed for exterior cracks to the G.G. Green Building in Woodbury.

Bridgeton Business Administrator Dale Goodreau said a wall of one vacant store had to be torn down Tuesday night and a nearby vacant building is expected to be razed within days because of structural damage.

He said it’s not clear whether the earthquake caused further damages or whether officials just noticed existing problems as they checked for quake damage.

Either way, he said, it’s important to get the buildings knocked down or shored up quickly as forecasters say Hurricane Irene could create strong winds in New Jersey over the weekend.

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