Whitesburg KY

Water-filled mine troubles Neon councilman

The City of Fleming-Neon faces a potential disaster from water that has gathered in an abandoned mine directly behind the city, according to a report from Council Member Lucky Cantrell.

Cantrell told the Fleming-Neon City Council in its August meeting that an old worked out mine above Abdoo Street holds millions of gallons of water and could break and unleash a disastrous amount of water on the city. He said he had spoken with the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals about the threat, but that the agency hadn’t shown much interest.

Cantrell said the water should be diverted from the mine to a stream near Barlow to ensure the city’s safety. He said the mine was active in the 1940s but was later abandoned and has collected water ever since.

“The water has backed up,” said Cantrell. “The mountain is full of water and it is a dangerous situation. It is just behind the city and needs to be drained. Mines and Minerals didn’t show much interest.”

In other business, the council voted to participate in the LCERN (Letcher County Emergency Notification) project with WMMT-FM of Whitesburg. David Fields of WMMT visited the meeting and explained that the purpose of the project is to work with the county’s One Call notification system to ensure that everyone in the county has access to emergency notifications as well as notifications such as boil water advisories in a timely manner.

Fields told the council that water emergencies this spring had prompted WMMT to apply for an Appalachian Regional Commission Flexi-Grant to initiate the service. Fields said that upon learning of the county’s One Call system, the station’s request that the two work together was approved by the fiscal court.

In other business, Council Member James D. Collins, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Letcher County Parks and Recreation Department, reported that new equipment has been received for the Fleming-Neon City Park. City Clerk Janice Banks said the equipment includes a balance beam, ladder, horizontal ladder, and bouncy toys for younger children.

The council also discussed redoing some culverts and replacing others to compensate for recent flood problems and prevent future flooding.

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