INSTITUTE INDEX: Hurricane Matthew's unfolding environmental disaster

Waste from a flooded coal ash pit at Duke Energy's Lee power plant near Goldsboro, North Carolina, contaminates the Neuse River. (Photo by Pete Harrison, Waterkeeper Alliance, and Matt Starr, Upper Neuse Riverkeeper/Sound Rivers, via Flickr. To see more Waterkeeper photos of the Matthew flood disaster, click here.)

Inches of waste from a coal ash pit found floating on the surface of the Neuse River at Duke Energy's H.F. Lee power plant upstream of Goldsboro, North Carolina, following record flooding from Hurricane Matthew: 1

Tons of exposed coal ash at the Lee plant: more than 1 million

Number of days that the Lee plant's ash pits, which contain toxic metals including arsenic and thallium, were submerged by Matthew's floodwaters: more than 7

Days before the Waterkeeper Alliance announced the spill that Duke Energy issued a press release saying it found only "minor erosion" of the Lee ash pit and claimed that "the amount of material displaced would not even fill the bed of an average pickup truck": 3

Days after the Waterkeeper Alliance's announcement that Duke Energy tried to downplay the spill by saying that the waste was a byproduct of burning coal called "cenospheres," which the company claims are "inert" but which scientific experts say can be toxic: 1

Under North Carolina's coal ash management law, year in which Duke Energy is scheduled to excavate the coal ash at the Lee plant due to flooding risks: 2028

Number of farm animals killed in the flooding in North Carolina, with their carcasses and waste from inundated industrial barns swept into the floodwaters: millions

Number of North Carolina's hog lagoons — massive open pits that store the animals' fecal waste, which can contain heavy metals, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other pathogens — that were inundated, with floodwaters spreading the waste into the environment, according to state regulators: 10 to 12

North Carolina's rank among pork-producing states, with the industry concentrated in the flood-prone coastal plain: 2

Number of times more likely people of color are than non-Hispanic whites to live within three miles of an industrial hog operation in North Carolina: 1.52

Gallons of raw sewage, which can contain pathogens, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and hormone disrupters, that spilled into Hannah Creek, a tributary of the Neuse, in the largest of several Matthew-related sewage spills from the wastewater treatment plant in Benson, North Carolina: 3 million

Number of Matthew-related sewage spills reported just in the city of Jacksonville, Florida: 70

Before Matthew, number of floods and severe storms causing at least $1 billion in losses in the U.S. so far this year: 12

Number of those catastrophic floods that occurred inland as a result of heavy rain: 4

Of those four catastrophic inland floods, percent that occurred in the South: 100

Factor by which that breaks the previous record of catastrophic floods dating back to 1980: 2

(Click on figure to go to source.)