The Deadly History Of This West Virginia Dam Is Terrifying But True

One of the worst disasters in West Virginia happened in Logan county in 1972. A makeshift dam that had been built by a strip mining company was washed away by a heavy rain, and 17 communities downstream of the creek were hit with a flood of water and coal slurry. The small communities of Saunders, Pardee, Lorado, Craneco, Lundale, Stowe, Crites, Latrobe, Robinette, Amherstdale, Becco, Fanco, Riley, Braeholm, Accoville, Crown, and Kistler were all demolished or mostly destroyed.

You can watch a video with more information and stories here, from the Engineering Channel on YouTube.

The Citizens Commission investigated and concluded that the Pittston Coal Company was negligent in the construction of the dams. Pittston Coal Company, however, declared that the disaster was an “Act of God,” and settled with the residents for approximately $13,000 for each individual affected by the flood.

The Buffalo Creek Flood motivated Congress and the West Virginia legislature to pass new laws to regulate dam construction and maintenance.

Here are nine more disasters that have tragically struck the state of West Virginia. We can only hope that the worst of West Virginia’s disasters are in the past.