Florence’s rains: Coal ash landfill collapses in Carolinas

A major utility says a slope has collapsed under Florence’s heavy rains at a coal ash landfill at a closed North Carolina power station.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said Saturday night that about 2,000 cubic yards (1,530 cubic meters) of ash have been displaced at the L. V. Sutton Power Station outside Wilmington. That’s roughly enough ash to fill 180 dump trucks.

A state environmental spokeswoman, Megan S. Thorpe, says state regulators will conduct a thorough inspection of the site when it’s safe to do so and assess the damage. She says regulators will “hold the utility accountable” for a solution that protects both public health and the environment.

There are at least two other coal-fired Duke plants in North Carolina that are likely to affected by the storm.

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