Power Plants breached, Pig Waste Spilling and Hazard Materials Exposed

As many of us have been reading, Hurricane Florence has hit the Carolinas in addition to causing over 10 deaths. Florence has not only forced people out of their homes, left many without electricity, but has also breached the Duke Energy Sutton Power Plant and damaged the Pig’s waste site resulting in manure discharge. Power plants are responsible for generating electricity by burning coal. Not only does it require a significant amount of energy to generate, but it also results in many metals and other substances left over. These substances that result from this generation, are linked to influences of respiratory illnesses and cancer. Duke Energy published a statement on Monday stating that their the Sutton Energy Plant has been compromised, therefore, the harmful metals are now not contained and threat to the safety of the pubic. The breach of the Sutton Plant was displaced around 2,000 cubic yards, but to put that in perspective, that’s about 2/3 of an Olympic size pool!

Hurricane Florence also damaged the structures of the Pig waste “lagoons”. North Carolina is home to 9.7 million Pigs, which produces about 10 billion gallons of manure. Of course, the waste must go somewhere, and that “somewhere” is what farmers call “lagoons.” On Monday night, Florence was so powerful, that the structures of these lagoons cracked, releasing waste discharge.

Additionally, the Carolinas are home to over 2,000 toxic waste and Superfund Hazard sites. These are the sites in which substances such as arsenic and other substances that can result in death are sent. Although, Florence did not breach these sites, if more unpredictable and catastrophic events continue to occur, then the structures of these sites will breakdown and result in multiple breaches.

Below graph the locations of the hazardous chemical sites and the Pig farms. These locations are in relation to the amount of rain fall and highest wind milage as Hurricane Florence attacks. The darker red is predicted to be effected most by the hurricane, and as we can see, there are a significant amount of chemical sites and pig farms located in these target areas. Furthermore, if this graph is accurate, then we can predict that the more rain and the highest milage of winds, then there will be more power plant breaches, chemical sites broken down, and an increase chance of pic lagoons releasing waste.

2 thoughts on “Power Plants breached, Pig Waste Spilling and Hazard Materials Exposed

  1. This is really interesting! Whenever you hear about a hurricane, you often think about flooding and how that will impact people and their homes, but rarely about how it could damage farms and hazardous chemical sites. These graphs really give some perspective about how extensive the damage could have been had these sites been affected by the storm.

  2. This is incredibly interesting. When one gauges the effects of a Hurricane, the loss of human life and property damage take the forefront. With that being said, you have done an excellent job highlighting the extent to which the pig population produces manure in North Carolina. Hopefully when North Carolina is rebuilding, they will delegate enough money to allow for the waste to be properly contained and disposed of so incidents like this would not happen again.

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