The coal mine at South Main and Carson Streets was abandoned decades ago. Now the water and sediment from that mine has resurfaced and is causing major problems for several homes there.
ďIt hasnít stopped,Ē said home owner, Ralph Smith, ď365 days a year, 24/7, we have this orange crap coming down the side of my house, through my house. Itís from an abandoned mine thatís charted, and Iíve seen the charts.Ē
This isnít the first time the abandoned mine there has resurfaced, but in the past, a federal agency was responsible for repairing it. Residents say now that the state department of environmental protection deals with abandoned mine reclamation, nothing has been done to fix the problem and it just keeps getting worse.
ďWeíve had so much water running through here, and you canít even walk into my house unless you have a good jump over it,Ē said Carson Street resident, Creta Miller.
Affected home owners have contacted the DEP repeatedly, and they all seem to get the same response. They say theyíll be out within two weeks to repair the mine. Itís been nearly a year and a half, and no work has been done.
ďThey told me it was their problem, and they would see to it that it was taken care of. Obviously they didnít,Ē said Sam Hudson as he points to the bright orange water flowing down the road.
Ralph Smith said his driveway is ruined, his foundation is falling apart, and his basement is waterlogged. However, his biggest concern is the health of himself and his neighbors.
ďIíve found dead birds. I found a dead rabbit,Ē Smith said, ďOver the years Iíve found a lot of dead critters, and I know itís from that crap right there. I know it is.Ē
He says if something isnít done soon, heíll have to abandon the home that his grandfather built, and that heís lived in his entire life.
ďIím probably going to lose the house because I canít afford it. Iím losing the foundation, you know. This is my homestead,Ē Smith said.
He said heís been trying to make as many repairs as he can on his own, and has been spending $35 per month on professional grade drain cleaners because of all the sediment that clogs the drain that the water runs into in his basement. But he said he canít afford to do that much longer, and needs the DEP to fix the problem.
A representative at the DEP said heís not sure if there are any plans in place to repair that particular mine.