Huge Sinkhole Reveals a Giant Gypsum Mine On the Side of the Road In South Dakota

It all started on April 27th, 2020, a story that would put in danger and scare residents of the Hideaway Hills development in Blackhawk, SD. 12 houses were immediately evacuated after the sinkhole was researched by the local caving group “Paha Sapa Grotto.” After hearing about the sinkhole the cavers thought they would find a gypsum cave, but instead, they came upon the abandoned gypsum mine from the 1920s. 12 Residental homes turned out to be built upon a mine that was 2K feet across and over 150 feet wide. “On this first visit, I made a quick sketch map of what we could see (about 500ft of mine) and then took it to show the people on the surface,” said Vice-Chairman of the Paha Sapa Grotto, and the Director of the National Speleological Society (NSS), Adam Weaver. “I think that’s when the severity of the issue really set in with a lot of people. I also told them that I would come back with two teams the following day and bring correct gear to correctly map it.” As it’s not a natural event, the community is ineligible for the specific Hazar Mitigation Grant Program. Which led to the united residents of the Hideaway Hills subdivision suing South Dakota, Meade County, and developers of the subdivision for approximately $75.5 million.
More info: Paha Sapa Grotto.

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Photo credits: Dan Austin/Paha Sapa Grotto

The sinkhole was researched by the local caving group “Paha Sapa Grotto.”

Cavers expected to find a cave but came across a gypsum mine from the 1920s.

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Soon after residents were informed about the severity of the situation

12 Residental homes turned out to be built upon a mine that was 2K feet across and over 150 feet wide.

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Homes were evacuated immediately but were ineligible for the specific Hazar Mitigation Grant Program as it was uncertain if it was a natural event.

In the end, united residents came with the lawsuit on behalf of 119 homeowners

They are suing South Dakota, Meade County, and developers of the subdivision for approximately $75.5 million.

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