The Buffalo Creek Flood - Marshall University's Virtual Museum

Document Type


Publication Date



On February 26, 1972, after a rain soaked impoundment dam of the Buffalo Creek Coal Company collapsed, 138 million gallons of black waste water cascaded down the narrow hollow formed by Buffalo Creek. By the time the water subsided at the Guyandotte River, 125 persons were dead, another 1,000 were injured, over 500 homes were completely demolished, and nearly 1,000 others were damaged. Property damage exceeded $50 million. Yet, these sobering figures do not begin to describe the human suffering from such a catastrophe. This is the story of the Buffalo Creek Flood Disaster of 1972.