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Next Kentucky Life explores history, science and myths of New Madrid earthquakes in western Kentucky

For Release: 2013-01-08 13:39:00

The next Kentucky Life, hosted by Dave Shuffett, is dedicated to exploring the history, science and myths surrounding the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes. Shuffett visits Reelfoot Lake, Kentucky Bend and other landforms shaped by the quakes, and he also meets with specialists to find out about earthquake preparedness, the odds of another quake occurring along the New Madrid fault, and whether popular legends surrounding the quakes are true. The program airs Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8/7 p.m. on KET.

The earthquakes that occurred in New Madrid 200 years ago are the most powerful earthquakes to hit the Eastern United States in recorded history. During the quakes, which were estimated to be a Magnitude 7, popular legend is that church bells rang as far away as Boston and Toronto and sidewalks broke in Washington, D.C.

Shuffett, accompanied by his canine sidekick Toby, visits Reelfoot Lake on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee, which was formed by the waters of the Mississippi River reportedly flowing backwards as a result of the quake. Shuffett talks with a historian and visits Kentucky Bend (also known as New Madrid Bend, or the Bend), the piece of land in the extreme southwestern corner of Kentucky located inside a loop of the Mississippi River and surrounded by Tennessee and Missouri.

In addition, Shuffett travels to Memphis, where he meets with earthquake specialists at the Center for Earthquake Research at the University of Memphis, the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, and the U.S. Geological Survey to find out about earthquake preparedness and the odds of another quake occurring along the New Madrid fault.

Kentucky Life is a KET production, produced by Brandon Wickey. Segment producer is Paul Smith.

More information about Kentucky Life, including streaming video, is available at More information about KET programming and education services, as well as how to support KET, can be found at

Contact: Abby Malik



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