BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Some Belleville residents woke up to chaos Tuesday morning, as several homes had to be evacuated and their local food market was closed due to concerns about possible mine subsidence.
“I got a call Sunday morning from our streets department, and that was the first I’d heard of it,” Belleville Fire Chief Stephanie Mills said. “And we came out here and just observed the same thing that you all are seeing, the buckling in the pavement.”
Officials say a former mine is beneath the area.
“We began reaching out to people that knew more about it than we did,” Mills said. “We contacted the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and they’ve responded, and they’re going to continue to monitor the situation.”
Structural engineers went in and out of Rulers Foods throughout the day as part of a building assessment.
Some residents tell FOX 2 they saw cracks in the concrete over the weekend and called 911.
“Saturday there was a buckle in that road, a big speed bump, and this just started crumbling,” Jennifer Arnold said. “
Emergency responders were concerned over building utilities like gas lines. Ameren Illinois crews responded to give the all-clear.
“We did evacuate three homes, but that was out of an abundance of caution until we could get the experts in here to let us know if they were safe,” Mills said.
Authorities say it’s unclear when the store might reopen. Residents have been assured that the area is safe.