Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Unluckiest Town in America

by Steven Gray, Time Magazine

It was early evening in Grand Tower, Ill., and Josh Franklin, 23, was standing outside his aunt's double-wide trailer. He'd like to move away from this community of 585 people to Carbondale, a college town about half an hour's drive to the north. But he can't afford to. Grand Tower isn't much of anyplace anymore. Its last restaurant closed shortly after the great flood of 1993. There isn't a bookstore. Don't even ask about wi-fi access. "If we get a major flood," he says, "it's all over. A lot of small towns, they've just disappeared. We're going to be next." The floods are certainly coming. And who knows when the next big earthquake will hit, since the town sits within the New Madrid Seismic Zone, one of the continent's most violent.

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