The final test is underway at Hideaway Hills

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Last year’s underground mine collapse at Hideaway Hills left many community members questioning the future of their homes.

Now, some of their questions may finally be answered as the next step in figuring out what’s going on underground has started and a final test at Hideaway Hills is underway.

“All of the testing that’s been done at Hideaway Hills has been various types of electronic testing which are indicative of voids and water and subsidence of the normal structures of the land,” said Kathy Barrow, Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP.

Previous tests attempting to determine the size and composition of the underground mine have yielded similar results all leading up to the drilling 150 feet into the ground to collect samples.

“All the methods that you do whether they are the resistivity, seismic, natural potential, the only true way to find out what’s actually there is drilling. So, we’ve started the first premilitary drilling test plan just to get a scope of where things are at and will likely expand it as we start getting our initial findings,” said geophysical consultant, Nick Anderson.

Crews are trying to answer two questions through the drilling. The first is to finally find out the furthest extent of the underground mine.

“We know it’s at least double in size from what myself and some of other people who were down there who mapped it, but we really don’t know how big it is and this is trying to get an idea to tell us how big the thing actually is,” said Anderson.

And the second question: What is in the soil under the streets and homes?

“There’s a lot of backfill in this area from the open pit mine that shouldn’t have been built on and were looking to see how extensive the fill material actually is,” explained Anderson.

It will take around two weeks to complete the drilling plan and about a month to compile the results.

“We’re just really excited to get this phase of the investigation into the conditions of the land done. We’ve done a lot of historical research and we’ve taken depositions now and we’re ready to move forward,” said Barrow.

After the results are found, a motion will be made to certify the class action lawsuit seeking damages for the residents of Hideaway Hills.

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