The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Wisconsin City Wonders: What Keeps Going Boom?

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 3:49 pm

It's "the big story" in east central Wisconsin, as Green Bay's NBC26-TV reports:

Something keeps going boom in the city of Clintonville, and no one there has figured out for sure why it's happening.

For three days now, folks in Clintonville (population 4,600) have been rattled and rolled by noises that residents say sound like explosions and feel like little earthquakes.

City officials have mobilized work crews to get out to see if the noises are coming from gas lines or other pipes. No evidence was found.

Reporters, such as the Appleton Post-Crescent's Nick Penzenstadler, have been sent out to to sit on street corners all night (alas, it seems like nothing much happened during that shift, but the sounds resumed again this morning soon after the all-night vigil ended).

The U.S. Geological Survey's map of earthquakes across the nation in the past seven days shows no activity in Wisconsin. And the state does not have much of an earthquake history.

The best explanation at this point, says WTMJ News Radio in Milwaukee, may be a spring thaw. "There has been a lot of thawing underground," George Stone, an instructor of Natural Science at Milwaukee Area Technical College, told the station. "[The shaking] could be related to ice melting and the release of the stress the ice creates."

Whatever's happening, it sure has Wisconsin talking — and some there hoping it continues. "It was kind of cool," 19-year-old Tyler Zehren tells the Post-Crescent.

(H/T to NPR.org's Liz Halloran)

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.