WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A disheartening sight for employees at a local Walmart after an earthquake caused hours of work and freshly stocked products to come crashing down in a matter of seconds.
When an earthquake hit Magna, Utah around 7:09 Wednesday morning, Utahns were literally shaken awake – but, it painted a different picture inside superstores across the Salt Lake Valley.
In one West Valley City Walmart, hundreds of items fell from store shelves leaving aisles covered in product and forcing employees and shoppers to take cover.
“We’re trying to protect ourselves with anything we could find just to get to a place where there weren’t shelves, which is not many places in the store,” said store employee Keri Petersen.
“Stuff was just falling all over, the soap aisle was just spilling over, everything was shaken… it felt like a big, huge truck smashed into the building and just kept pushing it,” Petersen continued. “Everything was shaking, it was so scary.”
For more than four hours before the shake occurred, Keri had been working to restock shelves that had been depleted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re doing our best to stock the shelves, we’re working overtime, I mean I have not had a day off in a while because I’ve been going in seven days a week,” Petersen said. “We threw ten pallets of freight by the time [the earthquake] happened, just myself alone, and I had only been there since three o’clock [in the morning].”
Petersen said everyone’s first instinct was to look for shoppers and get out of the building, once everyone was to safety, the reality of having hours of work come crashing down in a matter of seconds, started to set in.
“We spent all night stocking those shelves and then the water coming down over apparel and the shoes and you just want to cry… you know it’s just, it’s a lot of hard work,” she said.
Everyone was able to get out of the building safely. However, Petersen said the store did need to close down for the product to be cleaned up and the shelves restocked.
“Just be patient with us once we’re up and rolling because it’s doing work for us,” said Petersen. “We just need to be humane to each other, be nice.”