Floodwaters Carry Coal Ash into the Cape Fear River Issue no. 238 Winter 2021 because of a breach in the dam that was meant to keep themin. That was the idea, at least. Keeping is always the idea. Also, stockpiling. As the stockpiled coal ash is swept from its basins at the Duke Energy plant near Wilmington, fish start feeding on it by puncturing the surface of the river from below.