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 Valley 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 other property in Buffalo Creek Valley. Basic data were gathered during the investigation of the middle fork valley dams and refuse bank above saunders during field investigations of the site conducted from the end of March through mid-September 1972. This information consisted of field mapping, subsurface exploration and sampling by means of auger drill holes, field density tests, field permeability tests, aerial photography, vane shear tests, and cone penetration tests. Volume 2, the appendices, covers these details.
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