School Closings And Delays

Beams Delivered to Try to Save House After Mine Subsidence

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MAHANOY TOWNSHIP -- Beams 120 feet long were delivered and carefully unloaded in front of a house on Park Place Road near Mahanoy City on Monday.

The beams are the key to saving the home.

The home is teetering on the edge a mine subsidence 40 feet wide.

"We would like to get the beams under there and the structure supported. Then that way, they will have a good Thanksgiving," said Tim Brennan.

Brennan, with T. Brennan Heavy Equipment, is the contractor hired by the state to stabilize the house and then fill in the mine subsidence.

His crew has been working all weekend in the cold and snow to save the home of a family of six.

"That is why we are here day and night. If we can get the structure supported, I think we are all going to feel good," Brennan added.

Although Brennan and his crew have dealt with many mine subsidences over the last 23 years, until the beams are in place there are no guarantees the home will be saved.

"It's amazing because it's all mines up in this area. We gotta worry about the future I guess," said Jon Byer.

Byer lives just up the road from the massive mine subsidence. For the first time in 59 years of living in the coal region, he plans to purchase mine subsidence insurance.

The family in the home with the mine subsidence did not have it.

"I bet you everybody up here right now is thinking the same thing, 'Get that insurance,' because it could happen to anybody," Byer added.

The state's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation will pay for the work to fill in the hole and cover the cost to stabilize the house.

Because the family of that house did not have the mine subsidence insurance they will have to pay out of pocket to repair the damage to the home's foundation. That could cost upwards of $40,000 to $50,000.