Buffalo Creek : A Small Valley

1397 Words6 Pages
Buffalo Creek Hollow was a small valley that consisted of about seventeen coal
Communities that was adjacent to Buffalo Creek. When operation of the mine commenced in 1945 the practice dumping of slurry or coal mining waste into the hollow also began. Coal companies who operated upstream of the communities dammed Buffalo Creek to facilitate mining operations, which created an earth dam that held back 130 million gallons of water and coal waste. On average, a thousand tons of slurry had to be dumped every day. Although there were many complaints about the safety of the coal company and its regulation of the Buffalo Creek site, nothing was ever done to improve the dam’s conditions. The Buffalo Creek project had three earth dams ranging in
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The people were effected not only physically, but some people even developed depression, anxiety, and attacks of post-traumatic stress disorder. The community also took a blow because of 5,000 people of the population, 125 were killed, 1,121 were injured, and over 4,000 were left homeless. The houses of people and families was destroyed. 507 houses were destroyed, in addition to forty-four mobile homes and 30 businesses. The disaster left a trail of bad memories that people in the community will never forget. Some of the bodies were washed 40 miles downstream and some of them were never found. A few were impossible to identify. For the survivors, the trauma was multi-dimensional, physical, financial, emotional and even psychological. The disaster received national attention, and resulted in an unwelcome spotlight being shined on West Virginia 's coal industry. Investigations were launched and Pittston Coal lawyered up. To the outrage of the survivors and, indeed, most W. Virginians, the company 's immediate response to the disaster was to claim it was "an Act of God", for which they weren 't responsible. Some people even say that what happened there was not the work of a capricious God. It was the hand of Man that killed those people. Most people could not believe that the disaster happened even after years of having time to accept the fact that it did
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