Poplar Bluff chosen as staging site for earthquake recovery

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - When the next earthquake hits on the New Madrid Fault Line, the Missouri Emergency Management Agency says Poplar Bluff could be the best place to assess damage and stage recovery efforts.

Rick Sliger with the Butler County Emergency Management Agency says Poplar Bluff and western Butler County would sustain less damage in an earthquake than other places in southeast Missouri because the land there is not as flat as other places in southeast Missouri and the terrain there is rockier and not quite as sandy as areas east of Butler County.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says Poplar Bluff will be an important distribution point for supplies because Highway 60 will be the highest priority route in which supplies will be delivered to the rest of southeast Missouri, and because the supplies will come from Springfield and Kansas City.

"The impact area of the earthquake will more or less follow I-55 so the towns to the south, the state of Arkansas, St. Louis, would all be affected," said MoDot spokesperson Rick Bennett. "We wouldn't be able to expect to move resources from those areas."

I-55 also has many long bridges that may not hold during an earthquake, making Highway 60 and Poplar Bluff vital for recovery efforts when the next big quake hits.

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