I dont know whether it's a Celtic character trait or just a personal foible but trainwrecks and disaster areas always hold me spellbound. So when I took the decision to migrate to the United States more than a decade ago I pondered my top ten "to visit" list. One of the locations near the top of that list was Mt St Helens. I got lucky there, it's only 40 miles north of Portland alongside I5 and I have visited many times over the last decade. Another location near the top of the list was Centralia P.A.. For anyone unfamiliar with the town and its incredible history there is a wealth of information below. This year on the way back from NAFOW in Scranton our return flight was booked from Harrisburg airport. Centralia is about 60 miles north of Harrisburg just off Highway 81.
As the pictures below clearly demonstrate Centralia is a ghost town. An underground fire has been burning in the anthracite seam below the town since 1962 and efforts to put it out were abandoned decades ago. Experts disagree on how long the subterranean conflagration will continue to rage but some estimates give it another 1000 years. Nearly 3000 people lived in Centralia in its heyday. According to the 2010 census there are now 10. more here:- A Day In Centralia PA