Tornado Alarms Got You Down? Move to Corvallis, Washington

The Ingalls would have been better off staying in Wisconsin. And why, oh why oh, did we ever leave Ohio?
The Ingalls would have been better off staying in Wisconsin. And why, oh why oh, did we ever leave Ohio?
With all the flooding downstate, and the tornadoes that destroyed one wing of Lambert and almost all of the city Joplin, and the golf-ball-sized hail that pummeled parts of St. Louis yesterday, it's beginning to feel like living in Missouri is a very stupid proposition.

Indeed, as the tornado alarms buzzed at us incessantly yesterday afternoon, we found ourselves thinking of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who spent years enduring drought and hail and plagues of locust (ewww!) and one very long winter before finally hightailing it back to the Midwest and spending the rest of her life in Missouri. Why, we wondered, didn't she go all the way back to northern Wisconsin -- where the Ingalls' story began and (more to the point) one of the very safest places in America.

Don't believe us? Check out this handy graphic from the New York Times, which neatly maps which places in the country are most free from natural disasters -- and which are utterly screwed.

As the map shows, we're not just paranoid; Missouri really has its issues. We've got relatively high risk for tornadoes; we're close to earthquake trouble, too.
But we've got nothing on Dallas. In its perch in northern Texas, they've got twisters, hail, wind, drought and flood -- all in one convenient location.

Per the Times' summary, we ought to be living in Corvallis, Oregon -- it's the place in the country that's least likely to suffer a natural disaster. It also has balmy weather, good proximity to all those hipsters in Portland (just 85 miles away!) and the proper progressive politics. Did you know they buy a higher percentage of their power from renewable resources than any other city in the country?

What are we waiting for?

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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