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Mine subsidence affects yards, garages in North Belle Vernon

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Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, 1:21 a.m.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has been called in to assess damage caused by mine subsidence in North Belle Vernon.

Mayor Ed Lyons said he believes the subsidence occurred Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

He said he learned about it approximately 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The subsidence occurred between Baltimore and Vine streets in Lynn Alley, which runs parallel to Speer and Green streets.

“There is a God, I guess,” Lyons said. “From what I saw, it didn't affect the homes. It got the garages, though.”

Lyons said three garages and four yards were affected.

“The DEP was there today, and they're coming back tomorrow,” Lyons added.

“They'll be doing some drilling to access the depth. It's surprising to me, because I don't think there's been activity in that area since 1991.”

Lyons said he was told one homeowner did not have mine subsidence insurance. He added that he was unsure if the other property owners possessed policies.

“Everything is being moved along quickly,” Lyons said. “We want to try to accommodate people the best we can. The road is currently blocked off, and we'll be sure to bring that up to grade as soon as possible.”

Councilwoman Diann Donaldson urged people to obtain mine subsidence insurance.

“I cannot stress (more) the importance of mine subsidence insurance, especially here in the Mon Valley,” Donaldson said.

“It is affordable, and damage like this can cost homeowners in the tens of thousands.

“It's heartbreaking to see our residents incur this type of damage, especially around the holidays. I'm thankful that the damage did not mean families had to leave their homes.”

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-684-2667.

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