Abandoned day care center. Dover, Ohio
In the middle of our longest stretch on the road in Ohio, we decided to duck into the town of Dover to see if we could find anything to shoot or anyone to talk to. As we drove down one abandoned street after another, we had the growing suspicion that something was wrong. “It’s like Three Mile Island,” one of us said out loud, and we all laughed. After fifteen or so minutes, though, the desolate vacuum feel of the place started to feel sort of oppressive and creepy. The town seemed to be utterly paralyzed. Finally, while trolling down an alley, we encountered a man and a little boy batting a badminton birdie back and forth across a clothes line. The boy was maybe eight years old and had a mohawk. We pulled over and I asked them where everyone was.
“There’s been a chemical spill,” the man said, and the boy raised his arms dramatically and added, “It was flaming ball of death. They closed the schools.”
Further investigation revealed that there had, in fact, been a spill of Dipropylene Glycol at the local Dover Chemical Company that resulted in the release of a vapor cloud that was visible for miles. Interstate 77 was closed for four hours in both directions between New Philadelphia and Bolivar, and an automatic phone alert was sent to area residents advising them to stay inside, close all windows, and turn off air conditioners.
The all clear was sounded at two p.m.