Thousands of gallons of water rushed out of an old underground mine in Leslie County late Saturday night. Although the flow has diminished to less than ten thousand gallons a minute, nearly forty thousand were gushing out earlier this week. Water continues to pour into neighboring Robinson Creek. Kentucky Mine Reclamation and Enforcement head James Dickinson says it’s not unusual for underground mines to fill up with water.
“When the mine operation is going on, you’re creating a void. And that void is typically water discharging. I mean coal itself is a water-bearing seam,” says Dickinson.
A pipe was supposed to be allowing that water to discharge more slowly. But officials aren’t yet certain what caused the blowout. They continue to monitor the water for any contaminants.