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Abandoned Mine Danger?

By: Laurabree Austin Email
By: Laurabree Austin Email

Neighbors in one community in Boone County are terrified that flood waters are going to hit their homes. But this water isn’t from rivers – it’s from abandoned coal mines.

On Monday, some neighbors in the town of Bob White were told by Massey Energy workers that they should evacuate. And even though now they've been told it's safe to go home, not everyone believes it.

Gordan Eversole says, “That's the reason we all built back here is to get away from the rivers. Now we're not afraid of the rivers. We're afraid of abandoned coal mines and coal companies that are mining above us and not notifying us of the dangers.”

The Massey Energy-owned West Cazy strip mine hovers over the homes on Foxview Lane.
On Monday, several people here say they were told by Massey workers they should evacuate.
An old underground mine was getting too full from all the rain-- and there were concerns the water would come through onto their homes.

The Department of Environmental Protection says there is still a substantial amount of water that could be a problem and adds the situation will continued to be monitored by both them, and Massey Energy. But that's not comforting to everyone.

As Columbus Williams says, “It's being monitored, yeah, just like Buffalo Creek that killed all those people.”

When we spoke with DEP officials late Monday night, they told us the few Massey workers who went to warn those nearby homes did it without DEP’s knowledge. Once DEP got involved, they then made sure those homeowners were kept appraised of the situation.

Boone County Sheriff Rodney Miller says he also spent time at the site Monday and believes the situation is under control.

Our calls to Massey Energy have not been returned.


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