Return of the Boomtown

9 Aug

Boomtowns are one of those things that seem like a relic of the past. Associated with gold rushes and cowboys, it doesn’t seem like it should be something that we can see on the nightly news.
But, by any stretch of the imagination in western North Dakota near the Montana border there is quite a hefty boom happening as we speak. The sands there are filled with oil and towns like Williston, ND are dealing with all the hallmarks of boomtowns: heavy traffic, low unemployment, and a rush of people flocking in to make their fortune.
And, like any town in a boom, Williston wasn’t ready for the development. The population doubled in size in two years and the price of housing has skyrocketed as the rising population competes heavily for the available housing. Thousands of people crowd the roads and overwhelm the sewer system and the roads.
The boom is because new technologies make the deposits in the sands easier to reach. Experts suggest that the wells could produce for 30 to 40 years, a plus when already the US is able to import much less oil than it was two years ago.
Of course there’s also the benefit of the jobs themselves and the money that is injected to the local economy. Right now business is booming. The only question is, for how long?

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