WASHINGTON — A Metro investigation is underway to figure out what’s causing vibrations in D.C.’s Petworth neighborhood that some residents describe as feeling and sounding like small earthquakes.
“People have a right to feel safe in their homes,” D.C. Council member Brandon T. Todd, who represents Ward 4, told WTOP.
Todd sent a letter to Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld Wednesday afternoon, urging that engineers be dispatched expeditiously to investigate the problem and devise a plan to address it. Earlier this week, Todd discussed the issue during a community meeting.
“In addition to being a nuisance — waking residents up at 5:00 a.m. and keeping them awake until midnight or later — this issue endangers residents by threatening the structural integrity of their homes,” the letter stated.
Metro responded to WTOP inquiries about the issue before Todd sent the letter to Wiedefeld and confirmed that an investigation is underway.
“Metro is looking into the issue. The source of reported noise/vibration has not been determined,” WMATA spokeswoman Sherri Li said in an email.
Todd co-sponsored a “fact-finding” community meeting on the vibrations Monday with the area’s ANC commissioner, Timothy Jones.
“One [person] thought it was another earthquake in the area,” Jones said of a resident who described routinely feeling “mild to severe” trembling.
The experience of “vibration and rumbling” is more severe for a resident who lives in a basement condo, Jones said.
Residents began noticing the problem in the area surrounding the 3800 and 4100 blocks of New Hampshire Avenue in Northwest D.C. last summer. The vibrations and shaking happen at the same time Green and Yellow Line Metro trains pass underneath the area, residents say.
Read Todd’s letter to Metro General Manager Wiedefeld below: