Reprinted with permission
Backyard subsidence is really nothing new
The Scranton Times-Tribune (thetimes-tribune.com)
By Matthew Kemeny
Published: Thursday, May 25, 2006
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:00 AM EDT
More than 40 years have passed and homeowners on Meridian Avenue in Scranton still have the same complaints high taxes,
cold winters and the occasional mine subsidence in the backyard.
State and federal mine officials were on Karen Schrecks property Wednesday morning examining the 5-foot-wide, 19-foot-deep hole
that was discovered behind her 519 Meridian Ave. home Tuesday evening.
This is a nice one, shouted Emanuel Posluszny, an engineer for the U.S. Department of Interiors Office of
Surface Mining, after peering down the shaft.
It shouldnt take more than a few days for the federal government to move on repairing the hole, said Mike Walsh, a
geologist with the state Bureau of Abandoned Mines office in Wilkes-Barre. Subsidences located on homeowners properties are
generally given high priority, he said. Details of how the hole will be filled have not been determined.
Meridian Avenue homeowners were plagued by a series of mine subsidences in the spring of 1962, caused by earth movement. The
caves damaged homes, caused water main breaks and shut down the street, inconveniencing local residents for months.
Tuesdays subsidence was likely caused by a rock roof collapse, Mr. Walsh said.
Ms. Schreck found the hole about 7 p.m. as she was cutting grass. Shocked, she drove to a Dunmore Little League game to
tell her father, who was watching his grandson play baseball.
His reaction: So what? Its a hole.
He didnt think it was as serious as it was, she said.
Ms. Schreck said she has mine insurance, a valuable asset for any area homeowner, Mr. Walsh said.
Officials brought an orange mesh fence to Ms. Schrecks property to prevent anyone from accidently falling in.
What do you call a government inspector in a hole? Mr. Posluszny quipped.
The answer? Phil.
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