Hurricane Flooding Raises Water Pollution Concerns in North Carolina
By Michael Biesecker
As rain from Florence continued to lash the Carolinas, the region’s swollen rivers were beginning to swamp coal ash dumps and low-lying hog farms Sunday, raising pollution concerns.
Duke Energy said the collapse of a coal ash landfill at the L.V. Sutton Power Station near Wilmington, North Carolina, is an “on-going situation,” with an unknown amount of potentially contaminated storm water flowing into a nearby lake. At a different power plant near Goldsboro, three old coal ash dumps capped with soil were inundated by the Neuse River.
An Associated Press photographer who flew over eastern North Carolina on Sunday saw several flooded hog farms along the Trent River. It wasn’t immediately clear if any animals remained inside the long metal buildings ringed by dark water.
Such farms typically have large pits filled with hog urine and feces that can cause significant water contamination if breached or overtopped by floodwaters. State environmental regulators said Sunday they had not yet received any reports of spills.