Mountaintop Removal, When Mountains Move, National Geographic: Flash Floods Turns Roads Into Streams

Back of driver on four wheel quad driving over rocks on road in residential area.

A four-wheeler drives up a rock-covered road that was flooded after a summer thunderstorm.

Communities near mountaintop removal mining sites are often subject to powerful flash floods. On treeless, steep mountain and valley fill slopes, rainfall quickly becomes dangerous.

Reports in the Charleston Gazette show in May 2009, Mingo County and the surrounding coalfields were hit with the 19th floods in 11 years. WV has always flooded, but with the loss of sediment after forests are cut and the diversion of waters, flooding is happening where it never has before.