The mine disaster in Utah and the coverage surrounding it has focused new attention on coal mining and the dangers surrounding it. It’s also worth noting the problems old mines under much of Springfield still present in the form of mine subsidence. This map (.pdf) shows what parts of the city are sitting on top of abandoned mines, the name of the mines, when they were operational, and it plots the locations of the old entrances.
Like many, my house sits on top of one of these mines. It makes me a little nervous. Not that the whole house could be swallowed up, but the subtle damage can be devastating. While we were looking at houses a few years ago, we looked at one in a nearby subdivision that was going for about half-price. It was on a beautiful lot full of tress. Something had to be wrong. We found out it had subsidence damage. Too bad, it was such a deal otherwise.
A realtor friend told me about someone he knew who bought a subsidence house for a song, but this person was able to do his own repairs as needed. At some point, however, the water wouldn’t fully drain out of this guy’s bathtub because the tub was on a slight angle due to the subsidence. For years, he had to use a squeegee to get all the water out. I’m just not prepared for that kind of stuff.