Saturday will mark the 39th anniversary of the deadly Buffalo Creek flood that swept through 17 small towns in West Virginia on February 26, 1972. All told, 125 people perished in the flood. If any of this sounds vaguely familiar to BOTB readers, it's not impossible to imagine that you recall another 45 I blogged on this horrible event a little over a year ago.
The flood was caused by the failure of what is known as a coal slurry impoundment dam, which is essentially a colossal (mostly) liquid garbage dump built to contain the impurities that are left over as a result of the coal mining process.
Buffalo Creek Disaster pulls no punches in its grim description of the horrors experienced by those caught downstream of the dam. The flood's destructive powers are illuminated by Crowder's blunt but powerful lyrics telling of displaced families, drownings, orphaned children and the screams of people who knew their deaths were imminent.
In 1975, a documentary filmmaker from Kentucky, Mimi PIckering, released The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act Of Man. Thirty years later, this film's cultural significance was recognized when it was named to the National Film Registry. This coming Tuesday (March 1), Pickering will present The Buffalo Creek Flood on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. More details can be found here.