Hideaway Hills and Northdale area homeowners sue county over sinkhole risks

The Associated Press & News StaffSeptember 28, 2021Local
file photoHideaway Hills and Northdale area homeowners sue county over sinkhole.

BLACK HAWK, S.D. — More than 150 homeowners in the Hideaway Hills development in Black Hawk are suing Meade County over risks to their properties after a sinkhole exposed an abandoned gypsum mine.

The federal complaint filed Monday by Hideaway Hills residents in Black Hawk seeks damages to be determined by a jury and other relief “allowed by law or equity.”

The sinkhole forced about 40 residents from 15 homes in April 2020.

Geotechnical studies show there could be water flowing through the abandoned mine and toward Interstate 90 and there is the potential for future sinkholes.

The complaint alleges that Meade County acted recklessly and in conscious disregard for the risks affecting 170 homes in Meade County.

According to the lawsuit, Meade County acted with full knowledge that the subdivision’s land had been obliterated by a collapsing underground gypsum mine, unstable mine tailings from a prior surface mining operation reclaimed only as rangeland, and a toxic sewage lagoon.

The suit maintains that Meade County was aware of the potential danger going back to the summer of 2006, when a large collapse took place under Daisy Drive. The county ordered that the road be fixed, against the advice of an engineer, and added 31 more homes to the subdivision.

Meade County has until October 18 to respond to the filing.