Category Archives: Virginia

2 Treated for Hypothermia After Snow Catches Grayson Hikers Unaware

WXII reports two hikers are being treated for hypothermia and dehydration at a Bristol, TN, hospital after being caught in a snow storm in Grayson Highlands State Park. Temperatures were in the 60s on Sunday but dropped to 0 windchill and 8 to 12 inches of snow. When they did not return as planned on Monday the search was launched and they were discovered by helicopter at a shelter. The website has a video about the rescue and shows the earlier rescue of a snowbound Scout Troop at Grayson.

11 Boy Scouts and 3 Searchers Hospitalized With Frostbite at Grayson Highlands

The Daily Press reports that 11 Boy Scouts and 3 rescuers were hospitalized with frostbite and hypothermia after being caught in a blizzard with subzero temperatures at Grayson Highlands State Park. Rescuers had to cut the laces off the Scouts frozen shoes to get their boots off. The Troop is from Gaston County, NC. Chief Deputy J.B. Johnson of the Grayson County, Va., sheriff’s department was quoted as saying, “Apparently, they didn’t think about the mountains being as treacherous … and apparently, they were not aware of the weather,” Johnson said of the troop’s adult leaders. “I have a comment I could make, but I’m going to keep it to myself.”

$26.5MM Suit After Black Mountain Boulder Kills Toddler

The Washington Post reports Dennis and Cindy Davidson have filed a $26.5MM suit against the mining operators after a boulder fell from Black Mountain and killed their toddler Jeremy in their home in Appalachia, Virginia. The article there is increasing resistance to strip mining which had been the live blood of the region. Now more than one in four of Appalachia’s residents lives below the poverty line. The accident occured at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2004, when an employee from A&G Coal Company was widening a road at Strip Number 13 pushed soil over a berm prompting the microwave size rock to fall 649 feet down the mountain. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy fined A&G $15,000 (the maximum $5,000 penalty for three violations — negligence for doing the work at night above occupied dwellings and using an inexperienced bulldozer operator working without adequate lighting. The Department that the maximum fines be increased to $70,000 for each incident. The Davidsons would like this to be called “Jeremy’s Law.” Coal produces more than half the electricity generated in the United States. More coal-fired power plants have been announced in the last 12 months than in the previous 12 years, according to the National Mining Association.
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Update January 11, 2005
Mark S. in the forum notes that Penn-Virginia, owners of the Black Mountain highpoint, owns the mineral rights for the mine in question is part of the suit.