Disasters: Modern-Day Ghost Town

Modern-Day Ghost Town

The folks in Rawhide Village, a subdivision near Gillette, Wyo., figured something was amiss back in February when they found they could set fire to cracks in the street. Methane, it developed, was surfacing from coal deposits below. So was stinking -- and sickening -- hydrogen sulfide. By this month, with the hydrogen sulfide causing illnesses and the methane turning into a serious fire hazard, the Campbell County commission ordered some 180 families to evacuate by July 31. "Unlike a disaster such as a flood, you can't see it," says County Commissioner Tom Ostlund, who is seeking federal disaster funds so...

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