We drove up to take a look at Centralia last week, the little central Pennsylvania town which was dismantled, bit by bit in the last decades, the victim of smouldering underground fires and poor decisions.
What you see now, in 2010, is a grid of old paved streets running through young forest. Occasionally a wall or concrete steps that once led to a house, but other than that, nothing much. There are maybe three houses left standing (the others had been condemned and their inhabitants forced to move out) and I understand that these last Centralians are fighting to stay. I don’t know enough about that and therefor shall not comment.
There used to be a lot of smoke coming out of holes in the ground, I was told. And perhaps it’s more visible on cooler days (we saw a little in 2 spots.) But what’s very noticeable is the heat coming up from the ground, through ones shoes.
Good news: central PA has installed a line of wind turbines on the ridge.
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