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Tue Aug 9, 2022, 07:09 PM

How Coal Mining Contributed to Deadly Kentucky Floods

Appalachian states like Kentucky have a long, turbulent history with coal and mountaintop removal—an extractive mining process that uses explosives to clear forests and scrape soil in order to access underlying coal seams. For years, researchers have warned that land warped by mountaintop removal may be more prone to flooding due to the resulting lack of vegetation to prevent increased runoff. Without trees to buffer the rain and soil to soak it up, water pools together and heads for the least resistant path—downhill.

In 2019, a pair of Duke University scientists conducted an analysis of floodprone communities throughout the region for Inside Climate News that identified the most “mining damaged areas.” These included many of the same Eastern Kentucky communities that saw river levels rise by 25 feet in just 24 hours this past week.

“The findings suggest that long after the coal mining stops, its legacy of mining could continue to exact a price on residents who live downstream from the hundreds of mountains that have been leveled in Appalachia to produce electricity,” wrote Inside Climate News’ James Bruggers.

Now those findings feel tragically prescient. From July 25 to 30, Eastern Kentucky saw a mixture of flash floods and thunderstorms bringing upwards of four inches of rain per hour, swelling local rivers to historic levels. To date, the flooding has claimed at least 37 lives.

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2022/08/kentucky-flooding-coal-mining-climate/

Not just mountaintop removal, either. Read Night Comes to the Cumberlands, by Henry Caudill.

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Reply How Coal Mining Contributed to Deadly Kentucky Floods (Original post)
Jilly_in_VA Aug 9 OP
Glorfindel Aug 9 #1
appalachiablue Aug 9 #2
Duppers Aug 10 #3
Brenda Aug 10 #4
Jilly_in_VA Aug 10 #5

Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Aug 9, 2022, 07:30 PM

1. Thank goodness there is no coal in the north Georgia mountains

It would be a shame to remove these mountaintops!

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Tue Aug 9, 2022, 08:04 PM

2. K/R

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Aug 10, 2022, 12:49 AM

3. TY for posting this!

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Response to Jilly_in_VA (Original post)

Wed Aug 10, 2022, 07:00 AM

4. Such an abusive industry

Convincing the residents it's their god-given way to earn a living while killing them with black lung and long term environmental devastation.

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Response to Brenda (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 10, 2022, 10:04 AM

5. +100,000

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