PROVIDENCE, Ky. (WEHT) – Did a collapse of an old abandoned mine lead to damage at a Providence, Kentucky construction site? That’s what local and state investigators are trying to determine below ground, where a Dollar General store is being built.

The construction site on North Broadway is closed off after damage was found earlier this week because of something that may have happened below ground. Meanwhile, city and state workers are looking into exactly what happened, and what lead to the damage.

“I knew there was a lot of commotion around there, but I didn’t know what,” said Eva Dean May, who lives across the street from the site.Providence Mayor Doug Hammers says damage to the under construction Dollar General store was found Tuesday, and may have happened some time during the memorial day weekend. Nearby residents say they didn’t feel anything underground.

“Since I live here on the corner, I watched it from the tearing of the houses, to the filling in the lots, and they did come out and core sample, evidentially because I saw them drill eight holes,” said d Robert Hatcher Jr. of Providence.

Mayor Hammers says a large hole in the ground was among the damage found. A collapse of part of an abandoned mine is one of the possibilities causes. Mayor hammers also says it may have lead to a nearby parking lot to wash out.

“It scared me,” May said. “You don’t know how far something like that is gone. It could be real solid right here, but then again, it might not.”

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands were called in to see what caused it. A Dollar General spokesperson says they’re assessing the site where the store is going up. Some residents hoped not to lose what was going up here.

“I hope whoever is sponsoring is not just going to give up, and just say well, we’re just going to cut loose,” said Anthony Dotson of Providence.

Mayor Hammers also says it may take at least a month before state investigators determine what lead to the damage.

(This story was originally published on June 1, 2022)