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Alexandria, located at the center of the state’s major transportation routes, is a non-descript southern city. During the Civil War, Federal forces wiped out most antebellum buildings, and today the city lacks historic charm. The downtown area, located on the banks of the Red River, with the aptly named Pineville to the northeast, is a mix of decline and modest renewal. The nearby Kisatchie National Forest provides some recreational opportunities.
Economically, the area is supported mainly by public sector and health care industries, with some forest products and basic industries also. Health care resources are very good for the size of town. While the cost of living is low, the area suffers from high crime, a low high-school graduation rate, and a lack of things to do—hence the low overall rating.
The mainly level terrain supports agriculture beyond the town’s sprawl. Forests of mixed hardwood and pine grow in and around the city. The climate is mainly subtropical, although the location is far enough north to receive a continental influence from the north and west. Summer months are still, warm, and humid with a few days above 100 degrees. Winters are mild with occasional cold snaps. Rain is abundant, with greater amounts in late spring and less in late summer; isolated showers and thunderstorms can persist for days. Winter ice storms and occasional snowfalls occur.
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