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NORTH MATEWAN

    Residents of Magnolia Gardens public housing complex in North Matewan were terrified when water started pouring down the hillside and into their units the evening of Saturday, June 13.

Little did they know what had happened far up on the hillside.

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Contractors for the DEP's Abandoned Mine Lands program repair the mine blowout on July 1.

Water had broken out of augur holes of an old, abandoned mine and gushed down the steep hill, pooling around the apartments at the bottom. So much rock, dirt and red dog washed out of the mine site that it blocked the culverts on the hillside. The currents destroyed retaining walls and other structures in its path. Residents said they had never seen such flooding in 30 years. One man, who lived on the hillside above Magnolia Gardens, lost most of the power tools when the flood swept down into his basement.

At least a few inches of water got into 17 of the 35 town house units.Residents told the Associated Press they were terrified. They tried to barricade the doors with towels, but the water kept coming in. Some people lost expensive couches and other furnishings.

The route of the washout from the abandoned mines is still visible above Magnolia Gardens two weeks after the storm.