Photos extracted from video taken by Bob Gates firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine sleeping restlessly, if at all, any night it rains. Imagine getting up every half hour to check that the creek near your home isn’t rising swiftly and running dark with sediment and debris. Imagine wondering each time it rains if you are about to lose your possessions and even your life.
That’s what life is like for residents who live close by valley fills and sediment ponds at mountaintop removal (MTR) operations. Many residents wonder if their communities will be the next hit by flooding, flooding brought on by hard rains and made worse because of mountaintop removal. Click here for Charleston Gazette coverage.
On July 19, an early morning thunderstorm (3 to 3 1/2 inches during a three-hour period) brought disaster to the little community of Winding Shoals Hollow at Lyburn in Logan Co., WV. Huge, rain-saturated chunks of a giant valley fill at Bandmill Coal Corp., owned by Massey Energy, cleaved away from the valley fill and crashed into a sediment pond below.