Dike Bursts, Flooding 15 Homes

HARRIMAN, Tenn. (AP) - The owners of 15 homes in Harriman, Tennessee are dealing with a frigid mix of water and ash after the wall of a retention pond wall collapsed early this morning at a power plant run by the nation's largest public utility.

The 40-acre pond was used by the Tennessee Valley Authority as a containment area for ash generated by the coal-burning Kingston Steam Plant, about 50 miles west of Knoxville.

Emergency officials say no one was seriously injured or needed to be taken to the hospital. But WVLT-TV reports that two people had to be rescued from their homes.

The extent of the damage is not immediately clear. The TVA has been conducting an aerial damage assessment and says it's notified the Environmental Protection Agency.

Investigators are trying to determine exactly what caused the flood. A TVA spokesman says recent heavy rains and freezing temperatures might be to blame.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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