Work to Stabilize Home near Mine Void Progresses

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MAHANOY TOWNSHIP -- Crews are working to save a home in Schuylkill County threatened by a huge subsidence. The hole opened up earlier this month.

Crews worked through the snow last week and now the nonstop rain. First, workers put in beams to support the home that has been teetering on the edge of the massive mine subsidence.

Now that the house is supported, flowable concrete is coming in by the truckload.

Tim Brennan's crew has already pumped more than 70 truckloads into the hole.

"We are just going to keep pumping until we see signs of the void filling," Brennan explained.

The hole at the surface is only 30 feet deep, but it is connected at a diagonal angle to an old mine vein or tunnel. That tunnel runs more than 200 feet deep and about six feet wide.

To prevent another mine collapse, the plan is to fill the entire tunnel with concrete.

It only takes about four minutes to pump a truckload of flowable concrete into the hole, then after that, there is usually another truck right behind it. In total, engineers estimate it will take a total of 180 trucks of flowable concrete to fill the old mine vein.

The crews just plan to keep pumping concrete until they can see that the old mine tunnel is filled.After that, dirt will be laid on the surface of the backyard.

Brennan is pushing his crew to try to have everything done and the family back in their home in as early as two weeks.

Neighbors believe at this rate crews could have the family of six back in this home for the holiday. That family could get an added Christmas present, thanks to help from their community.

"They setup a GoFundMe page. A lot of the community has donated to that to help them out because, from what I understand, they are solely responsible for the $75,000 to $100,000 it is going to cost to fix the house," said neighbor Norman Cunningham.

State and federal money from DEP and other agencies is paying to fill the mine subsidence and stabilize the home.

But the family who lived there did not have mine subsidence insurance so they will be responsible for the damage to the home.

Anyone interested in helping that family out can donate here.


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