POUND, Va. (WJHL) — An elderly person’s home is inaccessible after runoff from a coal mine that closed nearly 50 years ago filled a culvert in front of the home, Virginia Energy reports. The state agency has declared an abandoned mine emergency and hopes a contractor will be able to construct a new culvert and replace a damaged bridge within a few days.

“We knew we had to act fast when we learned this was the home of an elderly resident,” Virginia Energy’s director of coal programs, Randy Moore, said in a news release.

The culvert’s collapse made the bridge to the home impassable. (Courtesy Virginia Energy)

We have crews working on-site … to make sure safe access is reestablished and that the erosion and drainage from this historic coal mine site is properly diverted to prevent this from happening again.”  

The home on Bowser Hollow Road in Pound is located below a surface mine that operated until 1975. The work that AJS Excavating has begun is funded by a $22,055 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) grant.

Virginia Energy, which is the Commonwealth’s public department of energy, oversees the AML program, which develops projects that reclaim coal-mining related issues that date to before 1977.

Funds for the program come from the federal government through the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement.