5/11/02 “Centralia” PA.
Centralia was build on the top of a mountain in PA, the whole mountains in the area are nothing but coal. Years ago a fire erupted at the dump of Centralia and the coal beneath the town caught fire and is now burning and burning. Of course folks tried to stop the fire. Water was poured over it by the truckloads. Fire hoses pumped water in for days. Nothing helped. The fire is still burning way below the ground level. All of this was for naught, all without results. The State of PA was at a loss. The Federal Government took over and finally decided to eliminate the town altogether and asked people to move. Tax payers paid for the move.
Many houses in town are eliminated now and were ripped down but the streets are still there. Traffic signs are still stopping traffic. Roads are still named. The cemetary is still in tact. Some fearless folks even live right on top of the fire.
The ground under your feet feels hot to the touch. I feels like you are standing in a frying pan. In mid winter, when snow falls all around, Centralia is clear of snow. The heat beneath the streets and grounds melts the snow. A strange sight one will not forget. The whole area is white with snow but this town is perfectly dry and without any snow. I wonder if tropical plants would grow there.
Some cave-ins occurred of course. There are sink holes here and there. Smoke pouring out of these holes. Some holes are small, some are as big as the house that fell into the deep. Some folks also did not want to move out and so you see a house here and there, occupied as if nothing happened. The place gave me the creeps; never know if and when the Street will collapse. After some time I high tailed it out of town. Weird Place, if you fall into one of those cave-ins, don’t blame me, I warned you. I did not even stick around for pictures.