When albert rates went out to mount his lawn, the last thing he expected was that the ground would cape beneath him. It turns out albert and the rest of his neighbors were living on top of a sinkhole. Even more surprising was, with the whole lead to underground.
It was a day like any other. In blackhawk, south dakota resident albert rates was out mowing his lawn, like he had so many times before. Then something happened that changed everything when albert turned around. He could hardly believe his eyes. Only a foot behind him was the beginning of a giant sinkhole that had caved out of nowhere.
When does one do when their property collapses into a sinkhole? What albert did was bowled to the neighbor’s house? He knocked on the door of john trudeau, who had also been experiencing some unusual happenings john, had already suspected something was amiss that morning, because the faucet had suddenly stopped working.
Albert’s story was enough to make this an official emergency john’s wife, hurriedly called 9-1-1, as it turns out, they weren’t the only neighbors impacted when the authorities arrived. They moved quickly to get everyone to safety.
This meant evaluating the sinkhole and quickly moving out people who were within an unsafe range. That’s when they discovered that the sinkhole near albert’s home wasn’t the only one.
Another sinkhole appeared right across the street right away. Six families were evacuated. That number would double once the experts determined the cause of the sinkholes, but finding that answer didn’t require officers.
It required cavers when caver adam weaver heard about what had happened to the neighborhood. He volunteered to check it out. Adam is a part of pas sopogrado, a sub chapter of the national speleological society, akka people who study caves when he arrived with his team.
They soon discovered that they weren’t over their heads when adam and the rest of the pas apograto team inched their way in the sinkhole. They quickly realized that it wasn’t at all what they’d expected they came to find out that whole led to an abandoned gypsum mine.
The mine was more than 600 feet long and still had drilling holes and mining gear. In it adam told the rapid city journal. I really never imagined that when we went back down there it would be that big. It had first opened in the 1920s and it closed three decades later still there remained old items, such as a mining hand, cart. They also found bones which adam’s wife, a paleontologist, confirmed, belonged to a calf.
Even though adam is the vice president of the national speleological society, he was hesitant to continue exploring once he realized. It was a mine. He told hagerty, we really don’t do mines. We explore caves. The crew at panasapa grotto carefully made their way further into the mine.
Making incredible discoveries along the way as interesting as all of the findings the teen was making were. They were also items to be expected in an abandoned mine, old tools. Animal remains deteriorating wood. Then they spotted something that made everyone stop in their tracks. There was a car hanging down from the top of the mine.
It was wedged between rocks and appear to have fallen into a hole from the surface. The group was amazed to see such a thing in the mine and started speculating about what happened.
The team conjured up two possibilities regarding how the ford got there. The first is that the car fell into the mine after it had closed due to a sinkhole. The second is that it had been there the whole time it could have belonged to one of the workers and ended up getting trapped in the mine.
The team ended up stumbling upon another one. Adam confirmed that there was also a truck in the mine, adding that it was even older than the car. The truck was positioned, nose down and too inaccessible to photograph. As incredible as the group’s findings were, they had to get down to business and accomplish what they went there to do. Map the mine.
They measured 2 300 linear feet of passages and that’s just where they were able to reach. There were still other tunnels that had collapsed or flooded and therefore couldn’t be mapped. They also found some tunnels to be upwards of 40 feet wide. The ceilings ranged from 12 to 30 feet tall, while the mine investigation led to some answers. There was still plenty of information needed to uncover how all this happened.
That’s where doug hunt rods came in the emergency manager for me county, where blackhawk is located at a press conference doug revealed that the dakota plaster company had owned the mine. This makes perfect sense. Considering that gypsum is commonly used in plaster.
John trudeau, the neighbor who albert rates ran to win his lawn caved in brought up a question that many of the neighbors are likely pondering. Do the developers know and turn a blind eye? The question of who is responsible is especially crucial since insurance companies are refusing to cover the damage or to pay for the cost of the lost home.
Both john and albert reported that this was the case for their insurance companies, who simply told them that their policies don’t cover underground sinkholes. As a result, many of the displaced families had turned to gofundme to try and raise money to at least help make ends meet for the time being.
Meek county did make an effort to get funds from the federal emergency management agency fema to help the families that no longer have their homes. However, these discouraged residents have still included county officials in their lawsuit. That’S because public records indicate the me county planning board, knew of the mine’s existence when they approved the neighborhood development.
The lawsuit is also aimed at the state, real estate agents and developers, all of whom should have been made aware of the dangers the mine not only posed a risk for the neighborhood, but also for a nearby interstate. As a result, engineers had to inspect i-90 to ensure that there wasn’t threat of sinkholes near the highway after inspecting 1 500 feet of the road and 60 feet underneath.
The experts confirm that the road is safe from the underground mine. Now that the road is handled, the county can put their full attention toward the residence and deciding what to do about this.