Residents say old mine responsible for crumbling Newburgh subdiv - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Residents say old mine responsible for crumbling Newburgh subdivision

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NEWBURGH, IN (WFIE) -

Neighbors in one Newburgh neighborhood say their homes are crumbling, all because the subdivision was built on an old underground mine. 

Neighbors say it's not poor construction or faulty foundations...but mine subsidence that's destroying their homes. 

The Pelletier family purchased their home on Landview Drive in 1976 and for more than 20 years they've been fighting to keep it level.

"Mine subsidence issue was probably about 18-20 years ago, and it was on the north side of the house that we noticed cracking of the brick, it was looking like the garage was leaning forward," said Patrice Pelletier, Landview Resident.

Mine subsidence occurs when underground mines shift and collapse, causing the land and homes on the surface to also shift. The most common destruction involves sinking yards, bowing foundations and cracking walls.

"The porch itself has been drawn back away from the house, that could be mine subsidence," said Trenton Gentry, Landview Resident. 

When neighbors watched sinkholes form in the street and lawns, they weren't sure where to turn.

"So we all contacted our insurances and they said yes, there are underground mines, you need to get mine subsidence insurance, thusly we all put it on our policies, but it doesn't seem to always help though," said Pelletier.

When Patricia contacted her insurance company, they sent out an engineer to determine what they could do.

"And at that point they sent an engineer, I don't know where they come from, they'll come out and walk around the house and say oh no it's soil shrinkage, it's not mine subsidence," said Pelletier.

But a report from that same engineer contradicted the initial findings, saying that it is possible the homes are affected by mine subsidence.

"No mine subsidence can be complete without drilling to investigate the sub-surface, however no drilling is recommended at this time," said Pelletier.

The Pelletier family says their neighbors did have an engineer drill between their two homes, with soil samples revealing mine subsidence was to blame for their bowing foundation, but until engineers test their land the family is sitting on a creaky house. 

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