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Do You Remember Times Beach, Missouri?

Times Beach, MissouriOften, after a tragedy happens, residents of the town set their sights on rebuilding. Sometimes they are successful and other times people just have to pack up and relocate.

We all know that there are invisible killers out there, which makes it hard for people to want to move back to an area after a tragedy has occurred. This is especially true after manmade disasters occur rather than natural disasters. However, in some cases, it really is safe to move back to an area while in others it just isn’t.

So, what’s the story with Times Beach, Missouri? Should people move back to the area? Can they?

Back in the 1970s, the businesses and towns in the Times Beach area hired a company to come in and spray the roads with oil to control dust. However, that company actually mixed the oil with dioxin wastes from a nearby chemical plant – a fact revealed by the EPA in 1982. It was that same year that the Meramec River flooded the town and caused residents to move away.

When the town was tested, federal health experts suggested that all residents relocate. The suggestion was so serious that the EPA actually pledged $33 million to buy Times Beach, which had a population of 2,800 at the time. In 1985, the town actually ceased to be after a vote to un-incorporate. Shortly after, the entire town was bulldozed.

Today, what was previously the town of Times Beach is now a 409-acre park. So, even if you wanted to move to Times Beach, you couldn’t!  If you want to move to the area, Eureka is a good place to consider with a median home value of $309,000.

Lance Grooms

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