Duke Energy says heavy rains from Florence have caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station near the North Carolina coast.
Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said about 2,000 cubic yards (1,530 cubic meters) of ash were displaced at the L. V. Sutton Power Station outside Wilmington and that contaminated runoff likely flowed into the plant’s cooling pond. The company hasn’t yet determined whether the weir that drains the lake was open or if contamination may have flowed into the Cape Fear River.
Florence slammed into North Carolina as a large hurricane Friday, dumping nearly three feet (1 meter) of rain and swelling the region’s rivers amid widespread flooding.
Sheehan says the company has reported the incident to state and federal regulators.