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Angels Camp Plans Local Storm Damage Emergency Disaster Declaration

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Angels Camp, CA — A mineshaft collapse that caused a sinkhole near Main Street is the reason for an Angels City Council special meeting this week.

According to City Administrator Melissa Eads, recent storm activity on and around Feb. 12 caused the damage to a portion of Bret Harte Drive at South Summit Road, which is located within a block of Highway 49-Main Street, somewhat behind Angels Memorial Chapel. The mineshaft is among the many hundreds of old mining tunnels that remain as remnants of Angels Camp’s Gold Rush history. The storm damage and associated repair fiscal impacts are significant enough that she is asking the council to declare a local emergency.

“Given our extremely limited ability to react and respond to issues like that we need to reach out for state and federal support — if available — for this type of incident,” Eads states. She further explains, “From what I understand, the top of the mineshaft was right at the edge of the roadway…there was an embankment where the water would shed down, and it eroded the top of the mineshaft…collapsed a number of feet but then created a sinkhole underneath the road.”

Eads shares the city’s public works office estimates the hole at about ten feet in diameter and that the cost to make immediate repairs would be about $120,000. “We do have a very constrained budget and we do not have a lot of capacity to react and respond to emergencies such as this, especially caused by things outside of our control, and so that is why we care making the declaration…to try to reach out and get CalOES support,” she confides.

Her proposed resolution for a local state of emergency also includes a recommendation to approve a construction agreement between Cole Tiscornia Construction and the city for emergency repairs.

Wednesday’s special meeting will get underway at 6 p.m. at the Angels Firehouse meeting room (1404 Vallecito Road).