Coal Company Settles in Pike County Flooding Case

by Erica Peterson on March 9, 2012

A Kentucky mining company has settled a lawsuit that blamed mountaintop mining for a 2010 flood that ravaged a tiny Pike County community.

In July, 2010, rainwater runoff flooded Harless Creek and devastated the surrounding community. One hundred and sixty residents filed a lawsuit against Cambrian Coal, alleging the company’s lack of reclamation on a nearby surface mine contributed to the flood.

Attorney Ned Pillersdorf represented the community. In an interview last summer, he described what happened.

“The folks at the head of the holler actually heard the flood before they saw it,” he said. “A tsunami came down, did considerable damage to this community. Homes floated away, many vehicles floated away, homes were lifted up and several homes exploded.”

Now, Cambrian Coal has opted to settle the lawsuit, which was scheduled to go to trial on Monday. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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