Legal fight continues against mining company in eastern Ky.

Legal fight continues against mining company in eastern Ky.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 5:39 PM EDT
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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Search and rescue crews are continuing their searches for two missing Breathitt County women-- Vanessa Baker, 60, and 29-year-old Nancy Cundiff. Crews will be out Thursday and Friday, conducting searches along the North Fork of the Kentucky River.

Baker and Cundiff were last seen on July 28. According to Breathitt County Emergency Management, Thursday marks the 10th day of searches with more than a dozen agencies assisting in search missions so far.

Both women are from the Lost Creek community in Jackson, an area hit hard by the historic flooding in July.

Now, nearly 60 of their neighbors have filed a lawsuit against Blackhawk Mining. The lawsuit claims the company’s poor construction and improperly maintained slit ponds caused excessive water to flow through their properties. It claims the company did not follow state regulations of reclamation, making the flooding significantly worse.

“I’ve done five or six of these big flood cases over the years and Lost Creek was by far in the way the hardest hit area. I know there’s a lot of devastated areas, but Lost Creek is the worst. I think there’s been at least three fatalities up there. And like I say, we’re trying to get them in the court system and get the case moving as quickly as we can to try and get some eventual relief,” Attorney Ned Pillersdorf said.

Pillersdorf is hosting a meeting for the individuals in the suit. He’ll be introducing them to a hydrologist, who studies water and its movement. That hydrologist has toured homes damaged by the flood and is now meeting with victims. This is all part of his investigation to determine whether he will get involved with the case.