Behavior: After the Deluge

Christopher Hopson, 7, worked hard in school last year and got all A's and B's, but this year he sometimes stares unseeingly into space, complains of feeling dizzy and gets D's. His mother Drema, 25, is often depressed, becomes alarmed whenever it rains heavily, and sometimes has nightmares in which her two little girls look at her intently as black mud begins to cover her body.

Chris and his mother barely escaped with their lives last February when a badly constructed coal-slag dam gave way and unleashed 130 million gallons of seething water on the mining communities of Buffalo Creek, W. Va.,...

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