Sunday February 26, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Buffalo Creek Disaster. On that day a coal-waste dam at the head of a crowded hollow in Logan County, WV burst. A wall of sludge, debris and water tore through the valley below, leaving in its wake 125 dead and 4,000 homeless. The Pittston Company, owners of the dam, maintained that the disaster was “an act of God.” In response Appalshop filmmaker Mimi Pickering produced “The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man,” which powerfully portrays the impact of the disaster. Ten years later she returned to the community to document the continuing disaster in “Buffalo Creek Revisited.” In remembrance of the disaster and its many victims, we present a short selection from the original film.
Extensive historical background as well as information on the disaster and resources on current environmental issues in the coalfields are available at a companion Buffalo Creek Flood website http://appalshop.org/buffalo/