High gas prices threaten to shut down rural towns


Judy Keen
USA Today
July 5, 2008

FORKS OF SALMON, Calif. — The price of gas isn’t an annoyance here. It’s a calamity.

Peggy Hanley uses a generator that burns a gallon of diesel fuel every hour —at about $5 a gallon— to power Forks General Store, the only place to buy groceries for miles around. There’s no electric service, so Hanley, the owner, uses the generator to run eight refrigerators, nine freezers, lights and two ice machines for the store, which has been in a trailer since a fire destroyed the original building in 1994.

There are no utilities and no public transportation in this unincorporated town of a couple hundred people along a narrow road that winds through the mountains 314 miles north of Sacramento. Many people here buy gas for their vehicles and gas or diesel for generators that power their homes.

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