SPARTA, N.C.-Sparta has less than 2,000 residents, but it's been the talk of the east coast after a 5.1 magnitude earthquake shook the town and its surroundings on Sunday morning.
On Monday, people were holding off on clean up and assessing the damage caused by the natural disaster in hopes of documenting it for future financial assistance.
For a lot of people in North Carolina, earthquakes are not covered under what's called the "umbrella clause" for natural disasters.
Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar said the state of emergency was called so they can apply for FEMA and state financial aid.
The VFW is one of those businesses that's going to need quite a bit of assistance.
"It's kind of heartbreaking to see this history destroyed by an earthquake like this," Brinegar said.
The Post Commander, Gary Adkins, is hoping this wont stop the positive momentum the post had already started prior to the natural disaster.
He described the damages the building sustained.
"Here the ceiling is falling in on us and several tiles are falling out on the back side," he said.
The jolt started in Sparta and was felt throughout the Piedmont Triad all the way to Atlanta.
"I thought bomb. I thought maybe something exploded - gas explosion or something. It was just so loud," Clark Hunter, VFW Post 7034 member said.
The 5.1 magnitude earthquake caused severe damage to homes and businesses in Sparta. The VFW was less than a mile from its epicenter.
"It (the earthquake) opened up all the drawers. It knocked microwaves off the counters. All dishes came out of the drawers," Adkins explained.
"Our local VFW sustained probably some of the most severe damages that we had," Brinegar said.
Mayor Brinegar is a veteran and member of this post. He became emotional when talking about the post's significance to the town.
"One of our most historic buildings here in the county. It's been here since WWII," he said.
There was also significant damage to the Kathy Shore Tree Nursery.
Owner Kathy shore has owned the building for about a decade, and seeing it like this was devastating to walk into Monday morning.
"We have found out that the earthquake is less than a mile from here. So this evidently took a direct hit," she said.
Shore said it's going to cost more than a couple hundred thousand dollars to fix all the damages.
It's another hurdle after the pandemic threatened the businesses on her property.
"We had been shutdown for a while. We had reopened and business was doing very well. It was booming up here," Shore said. "We had lots of regulations set in place, and people seem to be following it. And everything was back open and going well until this hit."
A lot of people are reaching out to the business asking if they can help. But all the places FOX8 spoke to say they are waiting for insurance inspectors to asses the situation before they begin clean up.
The VFW and Kath's Nursery are places that may need some rebuilding or renovating at the least. The question now is how?
"Right now, to our knowledge, this is not covered by any kind of insurance policies, so it has to be a specific thing. So we're going to have a lot of people looking for a lot of help," Brinegar said.
While this organization is leaving everything how it is so inspectors can take a look at the damages, picking up the pieces is something members at Post 7034 won't have to do alone.
VFW State Commander Victor Letourneaut drove the more than 5 hours from Jacksonville, North Carolina to make sure his brothers in arms could feel the support after a devastating 24-hours.
"That's the stuff that we do. Someone's down, you're always going to get people come back and reinforce you," Letourneaut said. "Moral support. Financial support right now it's moral support, making sure everything is good to go. No one got hurt. That's the great thing. Everything else we can rebuild," he said.
Letournet said VFW members across the state have reached out saying they are willing and ready to assist this post when the time comes. Meantime, this post is hoping to get financial aid through the National VFW chapter.
Another thing that brings concern are the aftershocks of the initial earthquake.
"We've had about eight aftershocks. So the last one, I think, was about 8:54 this (Monday) morning. Just a short 2.1 tremor along Sparks Ridge. So we're not out of the woods yet," Brinegar said.
While this natural disaster has put Sparta on the map, the mayor hopes people know this community is still standing strong together.
"Our people are the best people. People have come out and checked on each other I'm so pleased and so honored to be the mayor of Sparta," he said.
The mayor is encouraging all residents to send in photos of structural damages to emergency management.