Kingston Fossil Plant Flood

Release Date:

At approximately 1:00a.m. on December 22, 2008, an earthen dam holding a containment pond at the Kingston, Tennessee Fossil Plant gave way, releasing over 500 million gallons of ash and sludge. 

In a brief time downstream areas were flooded, some with as much as six feet of debris. More than 12 homes were affected, a number of them were destroyed or moved off their foundations. No lives were lost though many families were displaced and the Emory River and shorelines were inundated. Landsat 5 data, acquired the morning of the 22nd, illustrate the effects of the break. The light blue tones in the water bodies indicate sediment flow from the flooding. Clear water in the region has a darker blue tone. Recovery agencies will use the Landsat data and other sources of information on the area to study the extent of the damage and the long term effects of the dam break.