BY KRISHANA DAVIS, firstname.lastname@example.org
12:37 PM EDT, October 10, 2013
The federal government may still be in shutdown mode, but that is not stopping testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
A test explosion Wednesday afternoon was heard and felt in areas of Baltimore County, as far away from APG as Carney, White Marsh, Parkville and Dundalk, according to concerned residents who took to social media to report it.
Gina Meyer, 38, of Parkville, said she was sitting in her kitchen with her husband and son, who had recently had surgery, when she heard a loud boom.
"At first we thought it was thunder," Meyer said. "There have been so many incidents with the train derailment and the recent earthquake. We didn't know what was going on."
Kelly Luster, spokesperson for Aberdeen Proving Ground, said there was a test explosion at the installation around 1:09 p.m.
"Usually if we know there will be significant testing and the noise will leave the installation, we send out a press release," Luster said.
APG's communications department did not send out any warning on Wednesday about the test explosion.
Luster said APG holds tests daily. He said the noise is generated by weapons fire, static detonations and even military vehicles, such as tanks.
Every morning around 7:30 a.m. scientists conduct a test detonation and take readings of internal and external monitors to determine if conditions are favorable for testing, taking into account any noise which could affect nearby residents, Luster said. If conditions are not favorable testing could be postponed or moved to another range.
Luster said residents are more likely to hear noises from testing in the winter months.
"In the winter and colder months temperatures drop, the air changes and there is less foliage," Luster said. "Our goal is to keep in mind the folks that live around the installation and that they have a right to peace and quiet."
Maria Ferguson, 43, of Carney, said she had never heard or felt any noise associated with APG until Wednesday. She has been living in the Baltimore area her entire life. The stay-at-home mom said she was playing with her 6-month-old daughter when the floor shook.
"I wasn't nervous, just concerned," Ferguson said. "I was concerned it was some kind of terrible accident and something happened to somebody."