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"We've all been trying to fight it": Campbell Co. citizens concerned about quarry blasting

The City of LaFollette closed nearby roads as a precaution because of the quarry. / (WVLT)
The City of LaFollette closed nearby roads as a precaution because of the quarry. / (WVLT)(WVLT)
Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 1:24 PM EST
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Campbell County residents got another feel for trembling ground on Monday with quarry blasts.

"My entire bedroom shook, and my son came running in the house saying, 'it's an earthquake, it's an earthquake," Kelsie Dial, a resident, said.

Dial knew what hit Monday evening was not an earthquake. In fact, she could see from her front porch it came from Potter South East's new rock quarry on Hwy 25. A scheduled blast went off there at 1:30 p.m.

Campbell County High School dismissed classes around 12:30 p.m. Monday over concerns related to blasting at a quarry nearby.

School officials said the high school dismissed as a "precautionary measure to protect students from any potentially harmful situation caused by the scheduled blasting by Potter's Southeast."

The City of LaFollette closed nearby roads as a precaution because of the quarry.

A concerned resident and grandmother of a student at the school told WVLT News she has safety concerns about the blasting which she said is happening less than 2,000 feet away from the school.

"We've all been trying to fight it," said Sandy Thompson. "We've tried to do everything in the world."

Campbell County Mayor E. L. Morton said he shares those concerns and has been working with Tennessee, Department of Environment and Conservation, Conservation, Environment and Tennessee Department of Transportation to come to a resolution.

"We were being told by the state agencies that the business is going according to state code and safety guidelines, but we don't know exactly what the plan is," Mayor Morton said.

County and La Follette city officials said they were notified about the blast, but have little knowledge about the company's plans.

Potter Southeast, LLC placed signs in the area about the blast but reportedly gave no other information.

Mayor Morton told WVLT he has received multiple complaints about the quarry blasting and plans to address them at next Monday's public workshop.

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