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Fri May 6, 2016, 05:27 PM

 

An Abandoned Pennsylvania Town Has Been On Fire For 53 Years

The fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada reminded me of a part of American history that anyone with a concern for the environment should be aware of. When will we learn?

Centralia is a borough and a near-ghost town in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 10 in 2010 as a result of the coal mine fire that has been burning beneath the borough since 1962.

All real estate in the borough were claimed under eminent domain and therein condemned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1992 and Centralia's ZIP code was discontinued by the Postal Service in 2002. State and local officials reached an agreement with the remaining residents on October 29, 2013, allowing them to live out their lives there, after which the rights of their houses will be taken through eminent domain.


Please note:

For anyone with a doubt that Centralia is still on fire to this day, last fall I took a photographer to take photos of environmental damage in Pennsylvania as part of the anti-pipeline campaign in New York. Yes, the ground is still on fire.

There are many more articles on this topic, it's something we should all know about.

CFS



http://www.centraliapa.org/

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2196

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/this-abandoned-pennsylvania-town-has-been-on-fire-for-53-years_us_55df6490e4b08dc09486d4a0

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Reply An Abandoned Pennsylvania Town Has Been On Fire For 53 Years (Original post)
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 OP
underpants May 2016 #1
shadowrider May 2016 #2
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #3
My Good Babushka May 2016 #4
muriel_volestrangler May 2016 #5
truebluegreen May 2016 #6
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #8
truebluegreen May 2016 #10
redwitch May 2016 #7
TexasProgresive May 2016 #9
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #11
TexasProgresive May 2016 #13
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #16
tom_kelly May 2016 #28
keithbvadu2 May 2016 #19
Marrah_G May 2016 #26
felix_numinous May 2016 #12
Katashi_itto May 2016 #14
Katashi_itto May 2016 #15
zentrum May 2016 #17
The Jungle 1 May 2016 #18
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #21
Dont call me Shirley May 2016 #22
Warpy May 2016 #20
MarianJack May 2016 #23
Marrah_G May 2016 #27
AuntPatsy May 2016 #24
JVS May 2016 #25
El Supremo May 2016 #29
kayakjohnny May 2016 #30

Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 05:30 PM

1. Still a fascinating story

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 05:33 PM

2. I remember watching a documentary on this town

As I recall, a bunch of garbage was being burned at the town dump and a small sinkhole opened up into the coal caverns below. The coal caught fire and before anyone realized the coal had lit, the fire was too big to put out.

Unless they pour half of the Pacific Ocean into those caverns, that fire will burn for several hundred years.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 05:35 PM

3. There is a book on this topic....

 

...how they dug at the mine for years, sectioned it off, excavated....

Nothing worked.

http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Underground-Ongoing-Tragedy-Centralia/dp/0762754273

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 05:41 PM

4. It's going to burn for at least a hundred more years. nt.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 05:50 PM

5. Somewhat similar: the Indonesian mud volcano

The Sidoarjo mud flow or Lapindo mud (informally abbreviated as Lusi, a contraction of Lumpur Sidoarjo wherein lumpur is the Indonesian word for mud) is the result of an erupting mud volcano[1] in the subdistrict of Porong, Sidoarjo in East Java, Indonesia that has been in eruption since May 2006. It is the biggest mud volcano in the world; responsibility for it was credited to the blowout of a natural gas well drilled by PT Lapindo Brantas, although some scientists[2] and company officials contend it was caused by a distant earthquake.

At its peak Lusi spewed up to 180,000 m³ of mud per day.[3] By mid August 2011, mud was being discharged at a rate of 10,000 m³ per day, with 15 bubbles around its gushing point. This was a significant decline from the previous year, when mud was being discharged at a rate of 100,000 cubic metres per day with 320 bubbles around its gushing point.[4] It is expected that the flow will continue for the next 25 to 30 years.[3][5] Although the Sidoarjo mud flow has been contained by levees since November 2008, resultant floodings regularly disrupt local highways and villages, and further breakouts of mud are still possible.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidoarjo_mud_flow

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 05:59 PM

6. I've been thinking about this town

 

for the last few days, once I heard of the proximity of Fort McMurray to the tar sands. I wonder how long they would burn if they got started (reportedly an industry spokesman says the tar sands don't have enough concentrated fuel in them to sustain a fire but I quit believing those guys long ago).

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #6)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:00 PM

8. 'An industry spokesman.....'

 

Sure, whatever they say.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #8)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:01 PM

10. I thought exactly. nt

 

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:00 PM

7. We drove through there at dusk many years ago.

Really spooky.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:00 PM

9. I wonder if Centralia, PA was the inspiration for Valkenvania, NJ

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #9)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:02 PM

11. "Nothing but Trouble received overwhelmingly negative reviews, and was a box office bomb"

 

No idea. Did not see it.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #11)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:06 PM

13. It's a horror comedy, really strange.

I a fan of John Candy and Dan Aykroyd. I thought it was hilarious, but there's no accounting for taste.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #13)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:21 PM

16. John Candy and Dan Aykroyd.

 

That was a fun crew...

Bill Murray, Harold Ramis....

Of course, my favorite was Stripes

Arrrrrrmmmmmyyyyyy Training, Sir!

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #16)

Fri May 6, 2016, 08:03 PM

28. My name's Dewey Oxburger.

My friends call me Ox. As you can see, I have a bit of a weight problem. Yes. Yes, I do. My doctor says I swallow a lot of aggression; along with a lot of pizzas

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #13)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:00 PM

19. Hilarious for sure.

One of those movies that has no need for nitpicking criticism.

Just fun entertainment.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #9)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:55 PM

26. I believe it was the inspiration for "silent hill"

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:03 PM

12. With global warming

it's suicide to bring flammable things to the surface, natural gas, fossil fuels, coal--it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:12 PM

14. Centralia was the Inspiration for "Silent Hill" The Movie

 



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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:17 PM

15. Centralia - Full Documentary

 

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 06:44 PM

17. Hell on Earth—Literally.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:00 PM

18. Centralia is only a small part of the coal baron's damage to my state

My state of Pa has 6000 miles of dead streams thanks to the coal barons. Think about that a moment. We spend millions every year attempting to clean up this mess. 6000 miles. The streams are full of mine acid and totally lifeless. The rocks are orange. Wonder if the coal barons will come back and clean up this mess. Will the families who still spend the money clean it up.

We now have a Democrat as Governor. Wolf. However the entire state congress is republican. What these crooks are selling now is fracking. No worries fracking is entirely safe they tell us. I hate these crooks.

Over the last four years we had total republican control of the state. They gave out massive corporate tax cuts. It was gonna create jobs!!!!! We lag the nation in job creation. 47th I believe. Now repukes want cut funding to our schools and end the public sector pension system.

These scum bags hate us.

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Response to The Jungle 1 (Reply #18)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:09 PM

21. I feel like I'm bragging....

 

and I don't mean to brag or boast when I describe how I live in a region (the Catskills watershed) that provides New York City with unfiltered drinking water.

Water supply testing stations throughout the city reveal a water quality at least as good as most bottled water, often better.

We have unbelievably strict regulation in this area. When I was doing a walk-though of a hiking trail (I volunteer for NY/NJ Trail Conference) I came across a pile of trash about the size of a pickup truck bed.

I called the environmental cops (NYS DEC EnCon P.D.) we dug through the pile, found some notebook pages with names on them.

The cops had the pile removed - by the people that did the dumping - by the end of the weekend.

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Response to The Jungle 1 (Reply #18)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:13 PM

22. FDR welcomed their hatred and so should we. Rise Up against the oligarchs!

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:08 PM

20. Visits to the area are spooky

Since the streets aren't being maintained, you'll see small trees sprouting through them in some of the cooler areas. You can tell where some of the houses were because of the vent pipes still in the yard, placed to vent poisonous coal smoke somewhere beside inside the house. The vents didn't work all that well, so the entire town was condemned.

I remember reading about this when I was a kid, that's how long the town has had defunct coal mines underneath it burning. The start of the fire is apocryphal, but most people blame it on a fire at the town dump, although they're hazy on how the fire jumped from there to a coal seam. What is known is that the coal is very high grade and burning anaerobically, meaning sealing up all the mine entrances wouldn't have put the fire out.

In the end, money won out and it was deemed a lot cheaper to move everyone out than develop heroics to put the fire out.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:44 PM

23. When I still lived in the Philly suburbs,...

...there was still the occasional news story about Centralia...sad.

PEACE!

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Response to MarianJack (Reply #23)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:57 PM

27. A former resident made a documentary on it "The town that was"

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:47 PM

24. A lot more to this tradegy that may never be known, wonderful town, good people...

They were displaced as if they were a commodity, so very sad....

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 07:55 PM

25. Centralia isn't an isolated case. In the Pittsburgh area there are several mine fires ongoing.

Within Allegheny County there are seven underground mine
fires burning in:
■ Plum Borough (at the Renton Mine)
■ Two in Findlay Township (one near Clinton and one
near Route 60)
■ Jefferson/West Elizabeth (at the Tepe Pump Station
Mine)
■ Baldwin Borough (near Churchview Avenue)
■ Kennedy Township (along Moon Run near Chartiers
Creek)
■ Hays neighborhood in the City of Pittsburgh



http://www.alleghenyplaces.com/docs/draftplan/chapter4f.pdf

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Fri May 6, 2016, 08:05 PM

29. The Burning Mountain Mine in New Castle, Colo. has also been...

burning for more than a century.

The original explosion killed 49 miners in 1896.

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Response to El Supremo (Reply #29)

Fri May 6, 2016, 08:32 PM

30. Thank you.

Was just going to mention that too. I've hiked up there and it's easy to see. Just above the school. Right along I-70 and the Colorado River. It's the last part of the Grand Hogback Range as it hooks to the south, just before it ends. Right above the town, and most people don't even know it's there.

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