"Diet Coke saved my life": Caldwell native describes harrowing Alaska earthquake experience

Posted at 6:45 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 20:45:24-05

As the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake trashed roads and bridges in Anchorage, Caldwell native Susan Blaisdell was saved by an unlikely product -- Diet Coke.

Blaisdell had stopped at a gas station on her way to work for her favorite beverage just before reaching a bridge along her path. 

"I would have totally been on that bridge," Blaisdell said. "And I know that sounds dramatic, but literally that would have been the time I'd be on it so, well, Diet Coke saved my life I guess."

The gas station where she stopped was rocking so hard, she thought the roof would collapse.

"It was so strong, I couldn't get my truck door open.  It just kept slamming shut," she said.

Aftershocks kept striking, even as she made her way home.

"It kind of makes your heart race," Blaisdell said. "I haven't been able to calm down all day."

A quick inspection of her house found big damage.

"My husband sent a picture with his hand in the hole in the driveway and cracks are everywhere, the foundation is not good," Blaisdell described.

But, unlike many others, she has power and heat, and most importantly: her family is safe.