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The Twin Cities of Niagara Falls would work viciously at repairing the hydro-dams for the next few years. It was difficult to construct since the only materials available were those from the Regional Municipality of Niagara Falls, Ontario and those from the immediate region of Niagara County, New York. In addition, The New York side had essentially been cut off from the rest of the county due to the increasing flood waters. By 1965 the hydro-dam was complete.
SHortly thereafter, scouts were sent to Lockport, the county seat of Niagara County to assess the situation and they found that the city had become victim to overcrowding by refugees from Buffalo. Still the seat officials continued to maintain a careful order. Niagara Falls offered to take 2000 refugees with them back to the city, along with 300 of the New York Army National Guard Remnant, more precisely the survivors of the 42nd Infantry Division whom were led by the mayor of Buffalo out of the city. Lockport agreed and the situation greatly improved for them, but county officials felt that they were to vulnerable to refugees from the rest of the state.
Unification of the Falls
In February 1966, the mayors of both sides met to discuss a possible unification of the cities. Later that year, the City of Niagara Falls was unified. Under the agreements made both cities now viewed themselves as a sovereign, unified nation that would go about eradicating chaos and making sure the people of Niagara Falls would remain safe and secure. Soon they wrestled control over of the rest of the Municipality and Niagara County. The temporary head of state were the two mayors, who had agreed to unite their chains of command into a unified council.
The unification did not solve as many problems as originally thought, however, as the stranded tourists and the total amount of non-residents outmatched the actual citizens of Niagara Falls two to one. The Niagaran Council had than voted as to what do with them, with the final verdict being one of the best moves it would ever make. The government would allow the refugees to stay under conditions that they join one of three mandatory services, being law enforcement, reconstruction and debris cleaning, or agricultural and aquacultural food production. Every refugee/non-native who did not participate in these duties was to be expelled far from Niagara, into southern Ontario cities who were willing to receive them, with the exception of orphaned children refugees. Those who were willing to work would be provided Niagaran citizenship after two and a half years of state service.
The service not only accelerated Niagara's recovery from the War, but it also handed them one of the largest work and releif forces formed after the War. By 1970 Niagara had finished clearing most of the debris and rubble from the city. By this point, former Niagara Falls, New York had recovered from its mass exodus to rise to a population of over 120,000. The smaller towns, such as Cambria, Town of Niagara, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Wilson began to evolve into small cities, with Town of Niagara growing nine-fold and Wilson eight-fold in population.
Niagara than was faced with the problem of feeding this large population, as agriculture production was one of the least joined programs for the refugees. Shipping food was impractical, as it required fuel which was largely extinct by now. As a result, the Niagaran Council encouraged people to plant Victory Gardens, similar to the ones planted during World War II when food became scarce. The program was a success, with over half of the population producing food in their own backyards, or in the city, on their balconies and windowsills.
It was decided by the Council in 1972 that a series of Ships would be commissioned by the government in order to scout the surrounding regions. These four ships were christened as follows:
- NFS Forager
- NFS Exodus
- NFS Onward
- NFS Discovery
The NFS Forager was sent to travel along the southern coast of Lake Erie, to determine the extent of the damage, and to find any foreign governments that had formed. Crossing past the Ruined City of Erie Pennsylvania, they eventually came across the Ruins of Cleveland. Here they came into contact with several Steel Boom-towns, and the salt mines which supplied a people living west of Cleveland. Eventually the Scouts were apprehended by Ohioan Hussars, whom escorted them to Sandusky in order to establish official relations.
Likewise, the NFS Onward was sent along the Northern Coast of Lake Erie with a similar mission. Constantly receiving fire from raiders unknown, the mission was considered by the captain to be "Most likely a failure,". This was until they reached the small town of Erieau, whom offered them safe harbor, and contact the Local Government for further instruction. While it took several days for the Horseback Couriers to run letters back and forth, eventually, the situation was rectified, and official relations were established with the Kent-Lambton Administration.
Niagara Falls has one of the largest Navies in the Former Americas. Several shipyards in Niagara construct warships made of steel from Central Pennsylvania, powered by fuel from North Ohio. These ships have been used to explore all the way from St. Clair river to Montreal. Many local governments erected in the wake of the War welcomed the sight of friendly ships of such caliber. Niagara often incorporated itself into these governments, annexing them, or offering protection in exchange for the use of ports. In this fashion, Niagara expanded it's reach to half the coast of Ontario.
While the entire southern coast of Ontario and Kingston were under Niagara's control, raids from pirate on the St. Lawrence became a nuisance enough for the Niagaran government to press it's fleet forward. In 1975, a well armed contingency of ships and LST's were brought down river, and many battles were fought with the St. Lawrence Pirates. Niagara's main strategy was to bring down buildings with cannon fire and move on, dispatching soldiers to hold the area, whom were often not properly trained. The Pirates quickly fell into a fortified position in Montreal, where the Campaign ended. The next move made was to create three strongholds to keep the river. Each was populated with what were effectively exiles and soldiers. These exiles were mainly of ethnic minorities. The three cities were as follows:
- South Montreal: a castle-like defensive position on an island just south of Montreal
- Lawrenceville: closest to Kingston, this city has the largest population and is made up mainly of German immigrants and Niagarans looking for a new life.
- Frenchtown: between South Montreal and Lawrenceville, this city is populated almost entirely of Francophones from the area whom flocked to it for stability and comfort.
The Slag Plains were discovered by Niagaran traders in 1972, though only minor trade occurred until around 1978. A colony city was built right on the coast, upon a large defensible acropolis. This colony was named Port hill, and for four years, remained relatively stable, growing to about 8,000. The Niagarans knew very little about the area, but cared little as long as the metal continued to flow outwards.
The economy of Niagara Falls is based almost entirely around Shipping, and the production of water craft. The Niagaran Naval Fleet is the largest in the Great Lakes, and this has allowed them to capture many exclaved ports, furthering their ability to move goods from one location to the next. Many a time has Niagara been called a new empire in jest. Kent-Lambton's small fleet is made almost entirely of steamboats made in Niagara, albeit production of ships does occur in North Ohio.
Niagaran Merchants import everything, ranging from fuel, food, and cloth from Northern Ohio, to furs and lumber from Kent-Lambton, almost everything used in Niagara was made elsewhere.