Tragedy strikes often in the coal country of Southern West Virginia, one of America’s poorest places. Too often the tragedies are caused by corporate malevolence. When a coal impoundment dam upstream of War, West Virginia, collapses, sending a raging black torrent of death through the hollow, Lucas “Pug” Graham and a band of survivors decide that justice must be done. More
Southern West Virginia is one of the poorest areas in America. With the collapse of coal mining industry jobs beginning in the 1950s and continuing to today, thousands of people have left, leaving behind a society marked by poverty, malnutrition, and drug abuse. A new scourge has emerged literally on the horizon: mountaintop removal mining. This assault on the landscape and the remaining people has been complete, with poisoned water, fouled air, decimated wildlife, and the utter destruction of any hope. Hundreds of sludge impoundment dams throughout the state hold back unfathomable amounts of dirty water. Most of these dams are poorly engineered earthen structures that fail infrequently, but when they do it is catastrophic. This is the story of one such dam collapse. In the resulting mayhem, a small band of survivors looks to gain justice.
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