This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Residents in Runnells are concerned about a sinkhole opening up near a home.

It’s not the first time the town had to deal with this type of problem, “At the top of my street we had one that was probably 20 foot around,” says Mayor Ron Tate. “They had to put five truckloads of sand in there before they start putting dirt in and that took out most of our street.”

An official of the Iowa Bureau of Mines and Minerals is investigating the new sink hole on West McKinney Street, but so far it is not known what caused the hole.

One theory is that Runnells is built atop numerous old coal mines.

Todd Coffelt with the Bureau say if it is caused by coal mines the state will help fill in the hole, “We could go into pumping grout to fill in the void that would provide a firm base. When it’s next to a residence a house or building and it’s confirmed to be related to coal mining; that’s typically the method that we’ll use.”

The Mayor says state investigators plan to use a backhoe to dig into the hole to assess its depth.