Monday, August 20, 2012

Atlantis Rising: Drought Reveals Submerged Indiana Town

The devastating drought that has afflicted a large portion of the American Midwest has also revealed  several ghost towns in Indiana that were submerged over forty years ago to create a reservoir.

The town of Monument City, Indiana, was lost forever when the Salamonie River in Huntington County was damned to create the Salamonie Lake Reservoir in 1965. The US government had forced the local residents to relocate to nearby towns, which was a highly controversial decision at the time. The once flourishing small town disappeared beneath the murky waters of the new lake and was all but forgotten with the passage of time.

Fast forward forty-seven years, with the current record-breaking drought that has parched most of the nation over the course of the summer. The waters of the important reservoir have receded more than twelve feet over the past several months, revealing the foundations and mortars of homes, churches and the abandoned school of the once proud community. The eerie ghost town is now caked with several feet of drying, cracking mud, like the specter of a long-forgotten apocalypse.

After locals and visitors alike began to flock to the area to view the former Atlantis, the Department of Natural Resources have begun to offer organized tours to the site for reasons of public safety. The Salamonie River was actually damned to save a host of other communities along its banks from the effects of recurrent and  devastating floods, with three of the towns sacrificed for the benefit of other, larger towns.

The latest, long-term weather forecasting predicts that the intense drought will continue for the area for the foreseeable future, with no appreciable break in the dry weather conditions until at least November.

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