Gas Masks and Geiger Counters
Status of Major Metropolitan Areas
Virtually every major city in the US was hit, some heavily, some less so. Chicago escaped lightly; a single 550 kiloton warhead from an SS-19 missile was fired at the intersection of I-90/94 and I-290, but the weapon actually hit about a third of a mile to the southwest. This was still pretty bad news for Chicago and anyone who lived there, but it meant that much of the Loop and the heart of the city was spared from total destruction. Three smaller weapons (220 kiloton SS-N-18s) landed on O’Hare airport, Glenview Naval Air Station, and the Great Lakes Naval Training Center further north, but aside from a slight but measurable increase in the sum totals of both human misery and casualties, these had little additional effect.
To the south, Saint Louis was hit by “one-and-a-half” 550-kiloton warheads targeted at the Lambert-St. Louis airport, home of the McDonnell-Douglas aircraft company. The first weapon’s firestorms were extinguished almost instantly by the blast effects of the second to hit. As a result, much of the city center itself was spared, but a light snow over the next three days spread fallout over it, and to a greater extent, St. Charles to the west. Small groups now control areas of a few blocks throughout the city, scavenging leftover supplies from the prewar era to barter with traders passing down the Mississippi.