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Blasting in the village (Part 1)

There has been a lot of discussion about the blasting currently occuring on the Heritage Hills property, and potentially happening as part of the Quincy Ridge quarry expansion.  Since there is litigation happening in relation to the quarry, I will limit my comments here to expectations and experiences with regard to the Heritage Hills blasting.

On Wednesday, February 3, I spent a portion of my morning with DJ Dolphin from Olson Explosives at the Veridian Homes Heritage Hills neighborhood.  DJ was happy to show me around, explain the process and tools, and share data about previous blasts from the seismographs.  A few hours later, I joined him near the water tower (about 1,100 ft from the blast center) to experience one myself.  

Based on descriptions I had read from those residing nearby, I was expecting a thump to the chest, or a shake in my feet, or at the very least, a loud noise.  I got none of those.  Had I been driving by at that exact moment, well, I simply would have been driving by.  Assuming the experience in my car would have been the same (and I realize that's a BIG assumption - keep reading), I'm confident that I wouldn't have known that a blast had even happened.  It was anticlimactic.  After the blast, DJ shared some numbers from the seismographs for this blast, and they were in line with previous blasts, and well within the established limits.

Now, I need to say that I'm VERY aware that this was simply the experience from that ONE location on that ONE day.  It was a clear day, which even DJ commented has the effect of allowing pressure waves to dissipate compared to an overcast, or foggy day.  I was located about 1,100 ft WNW from the blast, and the nearest home was roughly 875 ft to the north of the blast.  Certainly even a couple hundred feet can make a difference.  I was at roughly the same elevation as the blast itself.  Being higher or lower could change the experience.  And most importantly, I was outside!  Any pressure wave would simply pass by me, with no windows to rattle, no hanging pictures to shake, and of course, none of the noise that would go along with being inside a shaking structure.

It's all of those things that have me on a bit of a mission.  I'm looking to experience blasts from several other outdoor locations (thinking somewhere near each of the seismographs), as well as inside at least one nearby building (dependent upon some neighbors allowing me in around blast time).  Due to the snow and cold, blasting should be on hold until late next week.  So, I guess other than hearing from neighbors, my first hand knowledge gathering is kind of on hold for a bit as well.

To be continued...


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