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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Several GE-Hitachi employees from the Cape Fear are back home after being in the middle of last week’s massive earthquake in Japan.

Dennis McCaskill is one of the employees who flew into ILM early this morning. His homecoming could not come sooner for his family. After communicating with their father and husband online and over the phone for several days they finally got to see him in person when he arrived at Wilmington International Airport early this morning.

McCaskill is back with his family after spending two months in Japan. The GE-Hitachi employee, who worked at the nuclear plant in Fukushima as a nuclear reactor inspector, says earthquakes had become the norm during his time there. But Friday afternoon, McCaskill soon realized that this one was different.

“We’ve had some small earthquakes here and there. After a while you got use to them,” he said. “This one time I was laying in bed, and it started. It intensified and intensified until everything started falling. That’s when I jumped up and realized it was like trying to walk through a bowl of Jell-o to walk and get out.”

McCaskill’s Japanese counterparts quickly told him to get out and move to higher ground knowing that a tsunami would follow the violent shaking.

“The guys I work with said, ‘Let’s go! Get out!’ McCaskill said. “We left everything. We left rental cars parked, left suit cases. We just went.”

McCaskill quickly alerted his wife Linnea through an instant message. She had no idea at the time what Japan and her husband had just experienced.

“It’s just typical he’s out of town, I pick up the phone, look see if he’s left me anything,” Linnea said. “He had this long message, and when I started reading it I was like, ‘Oh, my God.'”

The McCaskills kept in touch online and over the phone while Dennis made his way out the country. The father and husband is just glad he’s now in the arms of loved ones.

McCaskill says he can’t say much about the Fukushima nuclear plant and its problems, but he still has some friends he’s concerned about at the plant. He said will check on them frequently to make sure they are all OK.


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