On February 26, 1972, a coal refuse dam, owned and operated by the Buffalo Mining Company, failed near Saunders, West Virginia. The resulting flooding of the Buffalo Creek Walley had national ramifications. The immediate consequences of the flooding were the deaths of 118 persons and 7 reported missing, the loss of over 500 homes, and extensive flood damage to their property in Buffalo Creek Valley. Several investigations were started immediately after the disaster; some were under government auspices, while others were initiated by groups of concerned citizens. These investigations relied primarily on personal observations, and eyewitness reports, although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey undertook limited field and laboratory testing. These original investigations contributed to an understanding of the Buffalo Creek Flood. The principal contributions of this report are the presentation of a comprehensive view of the failure with essential data integrated from many sources, and an analysis of the failure based on a thorough program of subsurface exploration and sampling, field and laboratory testing, and engineering analyses.
We take your privacy seriously. You can review and change the way we collect information below.
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
Cookies used to make website functionality more relevant to you. These cookies perform functions like remembering presentation options or choices and, in some cases, delivery of web content that based on self-identified area of interests.
Cookies used to track the effectiveness of CDC public health campaigns through clickthrough data.
Cookies used to enable you to share pages and content that you find interesting on CDC.gov through third party social networking and other websites. These cookies may also be used for advertising purposes by these third parties.