News

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Seeks Maps of Old Underground Mines

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Seeks Maps of Old Underground Mines

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

State officials are seeking the public’s help to find old maps of long-closed underground coal mines.

The maps help determine whether an area is a risk of subsidence — holes or sagging that can damage homes and other buildings, like a southern Illinois school that had to be rebuilt five years ago.

But Department of Natural Resources mine experts say they only have about 2,000 maps for more than 4,000 mines that operated in the state over the past 160 years.

They want to make digital copies before they deteriorate or are destroyed, and believe many are in private hands.

Robert Gibson supervises the emergency section in the DNR’s mines and minerals department. He says two-thirds of Illinois was mined for coal, so the risk to structures is widespread.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

TLC cancels ‘Honey Boo Boo’

honeybooboo

The hit reality TV show is off the air after allegations family matriarch Mama June is dating a convicted sex offender.

in Entertainment

Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in new biopic

bale

The "Dark Knight" star will portray the late Apple Computer co-founder.

in Entertainment, Viral Videos

Zack Galifianakis interviews Brad Pitt on ‘Between Two Ferns’

twoferns

The comic gets in some good digs at the "Fury" star in this hilariously awkward interview that's crashed by Louis C.K.