As floodwaters from Tropical Storm Florence’s aftermath steadily rise in Conway, power officials are working to stabilize a former coal plant which has toxic chemicals stored on-site.
Santee Cooper closed the Grainger plant five years ago, but has been working to remove more than 1.6 million tons of coal ash byproduct left behind in storage ponds. Spokeswoman Mollie Gore said roughly 200,000 tons remain at the site near the Waccamaw River.
“There is concern that the river will rise close to the top (of dikes holding back the ash ponds), perhaps overtop,” she told South Carolina. “It depends where it ends up.
Gore said flooding from Hurricane Matthew two years ago stayed 1-3 feet below the dike, but forecasters are not sure yet how high the water will get this time. Current forecasts predict water levels will be close to, if not exceed the 2016 flood. [Read more…]