111 homeowners who live in the Hideaway Hills subdivision are suing South Dakota, Meade County, and developers of the subdivision for more than $75,000,000 after a driveway and part of a front yard fell into a massive sinkhole.
The ground first gave way on April 27th and around 12 homes have since been evacuated while officials investigate the developing situation.
Local authorities had no idea how this could of have happened, nor did they have the tools to investigate the sinkhole so they called Paha Sapa Grotto, a professional cave exploration team to descend down into the sinkhole and gather information for them.
The leader of the team, Adam Weaver who is Vice-Chairman of the Paha Sapa Grotto, and the Director of the National Speleological Society (NSS), was the first to arrive on the scene.
Adam told Board Panda, “After some general looking around, we found a fence that seemed sturdy enough to rig the rope to and I rappelled into the hole. When I got to the bottom, I could see 80ft into a large cavity that was at that point under the street.”
They were really excited to be the first ones to make a big discovery of a new cave, however, after Adam and two other friends went inside it, it was abundantly clear that this was not a cave, it was a mine. He said there was a lot of drill holes and old mining debris laying around everywhere.
Paha Sapa Grotto members explore a lengthy abandoned underground gypsum mine north of Rapid City, South Dakota reached by sinkholes in a housing subdivision: https://t.co/FNcBxJG0xY pic.twitter.com/vSB7KCrZMc
— Rocky Mtn Caving (@RockyMtnCaving) May 2, 2020
He sketched a map that covered about 500ft into the mine and then took it back up to the authorities to look at. After, the officials found out it was a massive mine they notified the residents. That’s when things got really serious with the residents and the severity of the situation.
The residents have filed a lawsuit against the real estate agents who sold the homes, the attorneys of the previous owners, and the title companies involved in selling the homes. Residents are seeking $35,000,000 for compensatory damages and $40,000,000 for exemplary damages.