Abandoned Mine Lands

Clay County Property Owner Thanks AML Team for Assistance After Landslide

By Robin Hartman

An Energy and Environment Cabinet vehicle sits at the site where landslide debris once blocked access to the property of Linda Donato and her family. The Division of Abandoned Mine Lands facilitated cleanup of the area. Photo courtesy of the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands

There’s nothing like mutual respect, cooperation, and concern for your neighbor to get the job done.

Energy and Environment Cabinet Scientist Carl Hays says that’s exactly the type of solidarity the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands takes into each and every project, including cleanup efforts following a recent landslide in Clay County.

Report of the slide came in mid-late January. Debris from the slide was blocking the only access property owner Linda Donato and her family had to a home they were building on Ky-638. Flattening everything within its path, the mudslide also interrupted water and electricity access and put a halt to their construction.

Once the site was inspected and the area’s mining history was reviewed, division personnel quickly determined that the site was eligible for funding relief under the federal AML program. The program helps protect and repair lands impacted by pre-1982 mining.

An aerial photo of a mudslide in Clay County. Photo courtesy of the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands.

“I’m proud of the work of our agency and AML, from the ground level on up through management,” Hays said. “There’s a very concerted effort to make sure each job is successful and that we leave every site far better than before.”

The Clay County site was no exception. A local contractor, Triple H, began work on April 1 and completed the job on June 8, a full 21 days ahead of schedule. The contractor removed the slide, corrected the slope of the hillside and stabilized the site. In all, about 2,500 cubic yards of material were removed on the Clay County project, at a cost of more than $160,000.

“This is a family business, extremely talented, with some of the finest,” Hays said. “They did an excellent job.”

Ms. Donato agrees. She wrote a letter of thanks to Division Director Bob Scott and his team.

Dear Mr. Bob Scott,

I had to write to you! I am so thankful that you and your department were able to fix the slide that blocked me from my home. Mr. Carl Hays was exceptionally kind and very helpful in explaining things to me. The Triple H Company that did the job was extremely efficient and did a beautiful job. I admired how focused they were on getting the job done right. Everyone that I had contact with was gracious and expressed sincere interest. Tim Rader was especially responsive and considerate. I was moved to tears on more than one occasion as I watched the progress. Words cannot express how appreciative I am. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Sincerely, Linda Donato

Scott said, “For the most part we have grateful landowners and every now and then, we receive a kind note. I’m very proud of our team.”

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