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Overnight 'boom' in Ozaukee County likely a 'frost quake'

Experts say it was likey a frost quake.
Posted at 7:13 AM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 09:49:26-05

OZAUKEE COUNTY -- One of our strangest weather stories comes from Ozaukee County —that’s where some people said they felt a “frost quake” on Saturday.

According to Scott Ziegler, director of emergency management at the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office, the "boom" most people in the area heard was most likely a cryoseism or a frost quake. A frost quake happens when water in the ground freezes and expands. The pressure can cause a loud boom and a shake similar to an earthquake.

“[It's] not unheard of in this area," Ziegler said. "But it has been quite some time since I’ve heard anybody reporting any."

Four winters ago to be exact —TODAY'S TMJ4 last reported on a frost quake so intense it caused a 100 foot long crack in the driveway of a home in Waupun.

“They generally don’t ever impact public safety," Ziegler said. "[Or] cause damage, [it's] just kind of an unsettling event."

So unsettling Joel Clermont, who lives in Cedarburg, took to Twitter Saturday night asking if anyone heard what he described as a “giant explosion”.

“It wasn’t a gunshot, it wasn’t a firecracker, it wasn't a car crash, [or something] that you might expect to hear," Clermont said. "It was something unusual and loud."

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