DEP Investigating Archbald Mine Subsidence

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ARCHBALD -- A gaping hole in the middle of a neighborhood in Lackawanna County has finally been filled in.

However, environmental officials said there could still be more problems underground.

A private contractor was working on an old water line in that neighborhood in Archbald last month, when a worker discovered a mine subsidence more than 20 feet deep.

After three weeks, the subsidence was filled in, and the contractor got back to work, but it could be a while until the street is open again.

Brett Carlel of Scranton is part of a crew working to replace a water line going to homes on Cemetery Street in Archbald. He was standing in a five foot hole working on the water line, and a few hours later that hole sank in.

"By the time we got here the water leak turned into a big hole, about 35 feet deep, all the way about 10 feet wide," said Carlel.

Turns out, the work crew had run right into an old mine. The subsidence stopped growing at 20 feet deep by 20 feet wide, according the The Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP crews filled in the hole with 20 truck loads of concrete, but they said the ground is still unstable and another mine might open up.

One homeowner said he and his neighbors are feeling unstable too, and hope this isn't a persistent problem.

"Frustrating for the homeowners, even for the workers too, you know? Because they're just trying to do their job. We're just wondering where this is going to go, and how far we are going to have to deal with this," said the homeowner.

Cemetery Street may stay closed for weeks even after the water line replacement is done because DEP officials said they need to do a lot tests to see just how big the problem is.

DEP officials said they'll need to come in and drill holes throughout the street to look for other mines. For now, the crews still working on the water line are keep a closer eye on where they dig.

DEP officials said they'll start doing their tests on subsidence when the water line work is done, but there is no word on how long those tests may take or how long the road will be closed.

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