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North Carolina dam retired power plant violations, the ash of coal in the river

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Carolina farmers fear the worst after the Hurricane Florence

Farmers in the Carolina’s, now all to do with the rates, you may be faced with billions of dollars in agricultural damage from Hurricane Florence, winds, and floods; Bryan Llenas reports from New Bern, North Carolina.

A dam breach on pension North Carolina coal-fired power plant Friday, have allowed coal ash to flow into the Cape Fear River, Duke Energy officials said.

Water of Hurricane Florence continued to overtop an earthen dike on the north side of Sutton Lake, the 1000-acre reservoir of the L. V. power plant in the vicinity of Wilmington, Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan told The Associated Press.

The water causes holes in the dam at the south end of the lake, which flows back into the river. Sheehan said floodwaters had overtopped a steel wall with one of the three large coal ash dump along the shoreline.

Duke Energy could not exclude the possibility that ash can escape and flow into the river, said Sheehan. Coal ash contains arsenic, mercury and other toxic metals.

In this Sept. 19, 2018, photo released by Cape Fear River Watch, heavy rains from Hurricane Florence erode and the breach of a coal ash landfill at the L. V. Sutton Power Station.

(Kemp Burdette/Cape Fear River Watch, via AP)

Grey material, the company is characterized as a light weight coal combustion by-products can be seen floating to the top of the lake, which is now used for fishing and boating.

State regulators had reported that the L. V. Sutton Power Station was at the highest warning level under Duke Energy’s emergency action plan.

According to The Associated Press, the plan defines an Emergency Level 1 case as: “Urgent! Dam Failure is imminent or occurs.”

In this Sept. 19, 2018, photo released by Cape Fear River Watch, an excavator is used to recover from one of the several infringements in a ruptured coal ash deposit on the L. V. Sutton Power Station.

(Kemp Burdette/Cape Fear River Watch, via AP)

“Flooding will occur downstream of the dam,” the manual allegedly says. “This situation is also applicable when flow through the earth spillway is causing flooding downstream, people and roads.”

The language is characterized as a “worst-case scenario to allow everyone to prepare accordingly,” said Sheehan Thursday.

She said that the company has been in contact with local emergency officials, but high water levels meant “if the berm were to break, there would be a very minimal influence of the river.”

The lake is a former cooling pond for the Sutton power plant and is adjacent to three large coal ash dump. The nuclear power plant was retired in 203 and replaced with a natural gas powered-generating station.

In these drone photos released of Duke Energy, flooding the swollen Cape Fear River overtops an earthen dike at Sutton Lake, a 1,100-acre lake in the L. V. Sutton Power Station.

(Duke Energy via AP)

A landfill that was under construction on the site, which was designed to hold the ashes of coal-lined terraces, torn in the weekend, spilling enough material to fill 180 dump trucks, according to the Associated Press.

The site is already more than 30 mm of rain from Hurricane Florence, with the Cape Fear River expected to crest Saturday.

Duke Energy said Wednesday that the samples of water collected by the staff and tested in their own lab showed “there is no evidence of a coal-shaft impact” on the reservoir or the river. However, The Associated Press reported the samples did detect coal ash in wetlands and in areas adjacent to the coast.

North Carolina officials also received reports of earthen dam breaches at hog lagoons, spill out excrement and urine. Officials warned of a possible contamination with a lead of Florence.

Millions of chickens and turkeys and 5,500 pigs were killed by floodwaters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

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