BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - If you live in Brunswick County and you experienced loud booms and shakes Wednesday night, you aren’t alone.
WECT received dozens of calls and messages from people in Oak Island, Holden Beach, Southport and beyond who felt two large sonic booms that shook their homes around 9:30 p.m.
The Brunswick County 911 center reported nine calls regarding the rumblings.
Many residents who reached out say Wednesday’s strange booms are different than shaking they’ve experienced in the past, often explained by “Seneca Guns.”
According to the US Geological Survey, the term “Seneca Guns” is commonly used to describe the roaring, loud detonations residents have reportedly heard along the Carolina coast. Sometimes the booms can be traced to man made things like explosions, earthquakes or construction, but others remain a mystery.
WECT looked into some of these explanations — meteorologist Eric Davis confirmed there were no official reports of an earthquake in the area from the US Geological Survey, and Coast Guard officials ruled out any military training exercises or large vessels in the area.
The Southport Police Department posted on Facebook Wednesday night, Chief Todd Coring said in an attempt to relieve any fears people might have.
Coring said with the heightened tensions across the United States, whether that be gun violence, attacks on religious institutions or the situation with Iran, some people may be more inclined to be nervous when hearing loud, unexplained sounds.
“I got some messages last night and people were worried because it did rattle their houses and some people said it shook the floor and they were just sort of worried,” he said, "and like I said, with things going on around the country, people are just a little nervous, and people are on edge and so we just try to comfort them and make sure that nothing’s going on and we’re checking it out for them. "
Coring said he himself felt the tremors at his home a few blocks from the water.
The chief said even though there was no active incident, officers were dispatched to patrol the city, just to make sure.
A spokesperson for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office said they contacted the National Weather Service and the Coast Guard as well, and found nothing out of the ordinary, but that deputies also went out to check on things.