NEWPORT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A massive “mine subsidence” 750 feet deep has left many people out of their homes in Luzerne County, due to Monday night when 14 apartments were condemned.
Now officials are working to fill the hole and get residents back into their homes while ensuring their safety.
Officials from the DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mines are working to fill the hole using emergency funding. In the meantime, multiple residents have been uprooted from their homes.
“it was grass it was ground. Who thought it would open up to a giant hole like this? I know I didn’t,” said Paul Distler, resident.
Paul Distler is just one of the tenants at the Luzerne County Housing Authority’s Glen Lyon Apartment Complex. After Sunday’s mine subsidence, he’s out of his home until further notice.
Distler tells 28/22 news he was lucky to be moved to one of the vacant apartments in the complex.
“I am still in this apartment complex. But they moved me over to a vacant one that’s open. So luckily I have someplace to lay my head,” Distler stated.
However, Dister says he purchased over $100 worth of groceries this weekend, which will now go to waste.
“All the money that I had for food I spent it and put it in my fridge but I can’t get to it cause they won’t let me into my place so I’m without food,” Distler added.
Officials say some residents could be allowed to move back into their homes sooner than others.
“Well, right now we have three buildings with tenants displaced,” said Barry Yohey, the Luzerne County Housing Authority Executive Director.
Yohey says tenants in apartments 51-55 may be allowed back into their homes as soon as this Monday evening. 91-95 could be let in Tuesday evening, while others may be forced to wait.
“The one with the issue 71-74 that one definitely nobody can go into,” said Yohey.
Officials recognized the severity of the incident.
“It’s tragic it happened but it’s great nobody got hurt,” added Yohey.
Officials will come back to the complex to assess the area and determine whether or not people can return to their homes and how soon.
Luzerne County Housing Authority says they are insured in these events through DEP’s mine subsidence insurance which will cover damage to the apartments if there is any.