Film Clip Friday: The Buffalo Creek Flood (1975)

For Film Clip Friday, we feature director Mimi Pickering’s documentary The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man. This 1975 film examines a mine waste disaster that took place on February 26, 1972.

This award winning documentary tells the story of a failed coal waste impoundment in Logan County, West Virginia. After several days of heavy rain, three coal waste dams at the head of Buffalo Creek broke and the resulting flood killed 125 people and left more than 4,000 homeless.

After the disaster, a grassroots effort pushed for new laws to regulate coal waste impoundments. Unfortunately, no laws were passed in the wake of this disaster. Today hundreds of coal waste impoundments still threaten Appalachian coalfield communities.

The complete film, as well as a sequel titled Buffalo Creek Revisited, is available from Appalshop Films

Excerpt from The Buffalo Creek: An Act of Man