Strip mining worsened deadly Kentucky flooding in late July: US mining authorities

Surface mining would have worsened the deadly floods in Kentucky at the end of July, according to the American mining authorities.

Latest reports this week said former mining regulators are blaming said mining activity, which happened before heavy rains triggered by catastrophic flooding in eastern Kentucky.

Regulators are calling for an investigation, urging state and federal authorities to take action and determine the role surface mining has played in creating conditions conducive to rapid floodwater accumulation and the weakening of the landscape during torrential rains induced by thunderstorms in the mountainous region of Appalachia.

More than a week ago, mountain flooding caused water levels to overflow in inland water bodies in eastern Kentucky.

The natural disaster left at least 37 people dead and hundreds missing.

Additionally, the raging flood destroyed settlements and infrastructure including houses, roads and bridges.

The destruction forced Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to declare a state of emergency.

In the past, surface mining and underground mining have been blamed for increasing flood risk.

The mine sites of previous weather events not only led to the death of miners, but also acted as catalysts to prevent water retention and promote rapid water runoff, especially in mountain areas.

Call for inquiry

(Photo: Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Two former state and federal mining regulators have urged the US government to investigate, as reported Inside climate newsa non-profit environmental organization.

Former mining officials pointed out that surface mining has somehow changed the ground, which has led to the increased severity of recent flooding.

If an area and its soil have been strip mined and the top portions of soil and rock dumped into a valley fill, the surface loses its vegetation and its ability to hold water, according to Jack Spadaro, a former mining safety engineer. , as cited by the organization.

Read also : Researchers use seismic analysis to separate full signals from heavy machinery in underground coal mines

Floods in Eastern Kentucky

USA today cited a US Army Corps of Engineers study on climate change and surface mining.

The research predicted that an increase in extreme rainfall due to global warming could affect stream flows in the Ohio River Basin, which includes the Appalachian coal country.

The US media also mentioned that housing patterns in eastern Kentucky contribute to the region’s vulnerability to flooding.

A number of residences would have been scattered along the roads adjacent to Creed located under steep slopes.

What is Surface Mining?

The national organization Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KTFC) claimed that Appalachia has been affected by mountaintop removal, surface mining, and associated valley fills, creating inauspicious living conditions for residents of nearby communities.

Surface mining, as part of surface mining, is a mineral extraction process that removes the earth’s overburden, a layer of unnecessary material.

Its main purpose is to extract materials from under the rubble.

Multiple sources have shown that surface mining is used in coal reserves and is ideal in coal beds and other relatively flat and shallow deposits, as cited by Direct Sciencesan online research database.

Related article: Mountain flooding threatens Kentucky again after floodwaters kill at least 37 people

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