WATCH: Northeastern North Dakota town's webcam racks up millions of views
CAVALIER, N.D. — A truck driving down Main Street is probably the loudest thing you'll ever hear in Cavalier, a northeast North Dakota town of around 1,300 people.
But that's exactly what's drawing people in.
On a busy day, more than 27,000 people are watching a livestream from a webcam that sits just above the town's main drag. Broadcasting on webcam hosting website EarthCam, the 24-hour stream has attracted 7 million views from around the world since it was first launched four years ago.
"People all over the country and now all over the world that are constantly checking in," said Rachel Morrison from the Cavalier Chamber of Commerce.
Viewers tune in to this town about 15 miles south of the Canadian border from as far away as New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
And some are even considering moving to the small town to escape the big city.
"We've had calls to our local Realtor about people who are interested in real estate,” said Cavalier Mayor Lacey Hinkle. “They kind of want to get out of the fast paced city life and move to somewhere a little slower pace — and we've got that to offer."
The camera was the idea of a Cavalier man who donated $12,000 to set it up. But he and other locals didn't know it would be as popular as it is today
The EarthCam stream has also gotten a national spotlight in the media.
"They put us on nationally televised programs," said Kyle Gagner, the owner of the building the camera is mounted on. "They'll check on the weather in Cavalier, North Dakota on a nationally televised weather broadcast — that's been pretty cool."
Many of the viewers send emails to the camera's administrator saying they grew up in small towns and miss their homes. Some of them even watch several times a day.
"They are invested, they're calling, they really, truly love Cavalier and they really want to be a part of it," Morrison said.