A woodcut depicting damage from the New Madrid series of earthquakes in 1811 and 1812. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says the threat of earthquakes on the New Madrid fault remain. (Via Wikimedia Commons)
A levee in Granite City, Ill. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says homes and businesses in the Mississippi River floodplain may need flood insurance, even if they are protected by a levee like this one. (St. Louis Public Radio)
Tomorrow marks the St. Louis kickoff of the bicentennial events commemorating the earthquakes that struck the New Madrid Seismic Zone in 1811-12. You’ve probably heard stories about those quakes: that church bells rang in Boston, that the Mississippi River ran backwards. Much of that, it turns out, is legend. So what do we know about the New Madrid fault and the risk it poses to the modern Midwest?
The above map depicts Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club (right), across the street from the Carter Carburetor Superfund Site, a former gasoline and diesel carburetor manufacturing plant which closed in 1984.
A coalition of St. Louis City residents is asking the Environmental Protection Agency for more time to evaluate cleanup options for the Carter Carburetor Superfund Site on the city's north side.
The former gasoline and diesel carburetor manufacturing plant once owned by ACF Industries has dangerous levels of several toxic contaminants, including PCBs and asbestos.
On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger and her seven-member crew were lost when a ruptured O-ring in the right Solid Rocket Booster caused the shuttle to break apart 73 seconds after launch. (NASA)