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Posted on March 31st, 2010 at 7:37 PM by admin

(Nixa, MO) — A Nixa neighborhood is dealing with its second sinkhole in 4 years. The last one swallowed up an entire home. It’s leaving people wondering, how big is this one going to get?

Here’s the good news: geologist Gary Pendergrass says he sees no reason for the homeowners to think their house will fall in the hole.

The bad news: it’s extremely difficult to predict where a sinkhole will open, and Nixa city administrator Brian Bingle says Nixa is one of the worst spots in the country for sinkholes.

“I hope it stays away from the house. That was my big concern. Just, it staying away from the house,” says Nathan Virts.

Nathan Virts says he never knew Nixa was a hot-spot for sinkholes.

“No one tells you that when there’s not one in your front yard,” laughs Virts.

But, he’s only been living in Nixa for two years.

“I had no idea honestly,” says Virts.

In 2006, a 40-50 foot hole swallowed a home in Delaware St in Nixa. That’s only a block away from the Virts’ home.

“It’s not unusual to find sinkholes. What’s a little unusual is to find them occurring here, where we haven’t seen sinkholes in such a long time,” says Peter Price, Environmental Geology Section Chief with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

As a fence goes up around the hole, you can guess what neighbors are thinking.

“In the back of your mind, you’re always thinking, ‘Am the next one?’” says Nathan Curry, Virts’ neighbor and brother-in-law.

“I don’t think neighbors should be any more concerned than they have been,” says Price.

Nixa’s topography makes it a hot-bed for sinkholes, but they’re uncommon in residential areas.

Price says he was surprised to see the hole.

“Before the one that opened up in 2006, there were very few reports of sinkholes,” says Price.

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) surveyed the spot in 2006, when the bigger hole opened up a block away. It said the spot did not show signs of a sinkhole.

The problem is, they’re nearly impossible to predict.

“It’s kind of like an earthquake. You know that one will happen eventually. You just don’t know exactly when and exactly where,” says Price.

In his neighborhood, lightning struck twice, but Virts is left feeling lucky. This time, the hole was, at least, a lot smaller.

“Right now, you know, I’m just praying that the house doesn’t get taken. At this point, all I can do is trust that it’s in God’s hands,” says Virts.

Read more about this Sinkhole Damage.

Posted on March 31st, 2010 at 7:31 PM by admin

(NECN: Jennifer Eagan, Freetown, Mass.) – A washed out street has created problems for hundreds in Freetown, stranded on separate sides of Narrows Road after flood waters washed out a bridge.

State officials were on scene Wednesday morning, attempting to determine whether the century-old washed-out bridge was safe for travel. On Tuesday, the bridge was flooded, forcing police to transport residents from their vehicles to their homes on a Freetown peninsula.

Water was running over the bridge Wednesday morning. Crews with front-end loaders were working to fill in the sinkhole on Narrows Road with gravel and rock. A major with the State Police said that the water running across the bridge is an indicator that travel would not be safe.

On the peninsula, there are more than 1,000 residents and a school for children with developmental disabilities.

Posted on March 31st, 2010 at 7:28 PM by admin

Mari Cottrill saw something black appear on the highway. She swerved to avoid it, but had no luck.

A few yards behind her, William Jarvis saw the same thing. He swerved too, but had the same bad luck.

Thanks to a large sinkhole that materialized on Interstate 240 Wednesday afternoon in East Memphis, both cars — as well as at least two others — will be spending a few days with the mechanic.

The sinkhole severely disrupted traffic on northbound I-240 just south of the exit ramp for eastbound I-40. The highway’s two inner lanes were closed, and the incident caused massive traffic snarls on both the interstate and nearby surface streets.

Luckily, no one was hurt, but Cottrill was still shaken an hour after her Saturn Ion smashed into the hole.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the sinkhole measured at least 12 feet deep, 6.5 feet wide and 10 feet long. It was expected to grow larger throughout the night, Tennessee Department of Transportation officials said.

“I felt like my car was sinking. I said, ‘Oh my god, what is going on?’” said Cottrill, a Millington resident who was on her way to the dentist. “I’m fine, but my car is, like, from outer space.”

Added Jarvis, a Brighton resident on his way to a job: “Imagine (if it had been) a motorcycle rider. It would have killed him for sure.”

TDOT employee Rick Taylor said crews had tried to fix a depression in the road Wednesday morning.

They laid new asphalt over the spot, he said. About six hours later, the hole opened up right where they had been working.

Taylor said workers will have to fill the hole with rock and limestone, then new coats of asphalt. Work will continue through today, at least, meaning two lanes will be closed until the hole is repaired.

A single lane there will be open today, but motorists should avoid the area to bypass traffic slowdowns, TDOT officials said.

Read more about this Sinkhole Damage.

Posted on March 31st, 2010 at 7:23 PM by admin

Pastor Michael Pressley talks with members of Schoolfield Pentecostal Holiness Church Monday near a sinkhole caused by the weekend rain.

Pressley said the sinkhole happened between midnight and 8 a.m. Monday. A layer of mud and water coat the first floor of the church.

“It’s like this all over,” Pressley said. “It’s a mess.”

The sinkhole is also pulling the front porch away from the church, Pressley said as he pointed to cracks in the foundation.

The water and mud also damaged donations from church members that would have been used in a yard sale.

Read more about this Sinkhole Damage.

Posted on March 31st, 2010 at 7:21 PM by admin

UNION CITY, Ga. — Kevin Baker looks out at his backyard in Union City and watches as a sinkhole continues to swallow it up.

“Every time it rains, it gets worse,” said Baker, a resident of the Highpoint subdivision.

A sinkhole formed in Baker’s backyard along the property line of his neighbor last October after heavy rains hit. It continues to grow. The hole is now at least five feet deep and is within several feet of Baker’s deck.

“He (Baker’s neighbor) has two young kids and I have an 8-month old who will be at the age of running, and there’s no way I will let him in the back yard,” Baker said.

Baker has been to court several times. A judge has ordered him to pay nearly $2,000 in fines, plus $100 a day until the sinkhole is fixed. His neighbor is also facing fines.

“This is not my problem,” said Baker, who argues that the subdivision covenants indicate the Highpoint Neighborhood Association is responsible to fix the storm sewer causing the sinkhole.

CBS Atlanta’s Renee Starzyk went to the home of the neighborhood president.

“I have no comment at this time,” said Inez Milner through her closed door. “I would not like to talk to you. I have no comment at this time.”

Baker has hired a lawyer to fight for him, but says in the meantime, he must get the sinkhole fixed.

“I don’t want to have to pay anything to have this hole fixed, and I want to be compensated for all the time, energy and stress I have gone through,” Baker said.

Late Monday, a member of the homeowners association, Mike Lowe, told CBS Atlanta that the board is considering paying for the sinkhole repairs.

Read more about this Sinkhole Damage.

Posted on March 31st, 2010 at 7:12 PM by admin

Nixa — Bobby Ellingsworth knew exactly what was happening early Monday when he heard a “thumping” noise come from the ground.

The sound was dirt giving way to a sinkhole in the 300 block of Fairway Street, just feet from where Ellingsworth was walking along the street in his neighborhood.
“I was on my last lap (around the block) and when I went by down through there, I could hear something thumping, like something falling, and it just all fell in,” he said.
“I knew what it was when I saw it.”

He recognized it because he’d watched a neighbor’s home — just one block away on Delaware Street — be gradually swallowed up by a large sinkhole in 2006.
In contrast, Monday’s sinkhole only took out a small portion of Nathan and Ashley Virts’ front yard near the street, leaving their home unscathed. the hole measures about 8 feet in diameter and 15 to 20 feet deep.
Still, it left the couple shaken. They bought the home at 305 Fairway St. in June 2008, shortly after it was built.
Nathan Virts said he doesn’t know what will happen to the house, or even if they will be allowed to stay there.
The city “told us it was possible they may ask us to leave, but nobody knows right now,” Virts said Monday afternoon, nearly five hours after the collapse.
City Administrator Brian Bingle said there’s no way to know what the couple is facing until Gary Pendergrass, the city’s geologist consultant, visits the property to assess the sinkhole.
“We assume it’s going to be a whole lot like the one we did prior (on Delaware Street) and that’s exposing it, putting pinnacles in there and getting it filled back in,” Bingle said.
Any decision about removing more of the yard or the couple losing the house would be made after the assessment, he said.
Nathan and Ashley Virts said they were aware of the Delaware Street sinkhole when they bought their home but they did not purchase insurance coverage for sinkholes.
As of late Monday, neighbors were allowed to stay in their homes. Bingle said the city was erecting a temporary fence around the location and Missouri Gas and Energy had shut off a gas line along the west side of the street as a security precaution.

According to the city’s current U.S. Geological Survey maps, Bingle said the Virts’ property was not in a mapped sinkhole location, even though its located just one street over from the Delaware Street sinkhole.

Joe Gillman, director of the Department of Natural Resources’ Geology and Land Survey division, said a USGS map of Nixa was made in 2006, with the help of state Department of Natural Resources, following the discovery of the Delaware Street sinkhole.
However, Gillman said he couldn’t comment on what specific techniques the USGS used when mapping that particular location. He added that it’s likely the wet winter and recent rain aided the sinkhole collapse.
No one answered at the USGS regional office in Colorado after hours Monday.

Read more about this Sinkhole Damage.

Posted on March 31st, 2010 at 7:07 PM by admin

WEST PLAINS, Mo. — A sinkhole swallowed a horse near West Plains on Friday. While out on a ride, the sinkhole opened up under the horse, named Big Boy, dropping him and the rider 15 feet into the ground.
The rider wasn’t hurt. Rescue crews had to dig trenches around the sinkhole to help pull the horse out. Sally Collins recorded video of the rescue.

Collins says their main concern was the horse’s safety. Collins says, after being pulled from the hole, Big Boy galloped around as though nothing happened.

Read more about this Sinkhole Cavity.

Posted on March 31st, 2010 at 7:05 PM by admin

Davenport is serious about sinkholes.

The city already has contracted with one company in an effort to shrink the backlog of about 90 sinkholes — some six months old — and has contracted with a second company with deadlines for work to be completed. The city also has a public works crew filling sinkholes.

“We’ll handle emergencies first,” Davenport Public Works Director Mike Clarke said. “If we have gushing water, we jump right on those.

“If we can’t close the hole in 30 days, we hand it off to a contractor.”

Under the recently approved contract with Langman Construction, the company will be given an assignment and have 30 days to complete the work.

Davenport seems to have a bigger problem with sinkholes than any of the other Quad-Cities. Moline has about 20 sinkholes, while Rock Island and Moline report only occasional problems.

“It is an ongoing problem, and it will be as long as you have utilities,” said Erica Williams, environmental manager for the Moline Public Works Department. “We have a list we go out and do. If it sits too long, then it gets bigger and takes more materials and resources.”

Bettendorf Public Works Director Wally Mook said sinkholes aren’t a major problem, while Rock Island’s director Bob Hawes said they occur occasionally.

“We have some every once in a while,” he said. “We don’t have the collapsing kind that eat cars.

“We’ve had a lot of rainy weather in the last few years, so we have more erosion.”

Last week, a Davenport city crew worked on a sinkhole on Warren Street, near Russell Parr’s house at the southeast corner of Warren and Locust streets. The sinkhole makes getting in and out of his garage tricky. He said the hole had been there about two weeks and started about two feet around. The city responded quickly.

“If they weren’t on it,” he said, “I’d call my alderman on it.”

He said city workers have done a good job keeping neighbors informed about the steps they are taking during the repair.

“It is just a bad year. Just drive around,” he said. “I don’t fault the city for that.”

The city is battling potholes at the same time. The city recently averaged using 100,000 pounds of asphalt. The most recent report for the week of March 15-19 showed the public works employees filled 3,133 potholes.

Read more about this Sinkhole Damage.

Posted on March 27th, 2010 at 8:37 PM by admin

Omaha, NE – The front of Imani Williams home faces a 20 foot wide hole and it runs more than 10 feet deep. The hole is destroying part of 16th street near 16th and Grace. It has turned four lanes of traffic into two going in opposite directions. Williams is concerned about the children in the neighborhood because during rush hour drivers detour behind the homes where children are playing.

Drivers have to deal with reduced lanes until the city comes up with a fix. Omaha public works director Bob Stubbe says the big hole started out as a crack near the beginning of the year. We shot video of it in February when it damaged a water and a gas line.

The hole keeps getting wider and continues to go down. Williams is afraid the value of her home will go in the same direction. “It’s ugly, it’s big and it needs to go somewhere,” said Williams. Stubbe says he hopes to get the hole fixed before the end of the year.

Read more about this Sinkhole Damage.

Posted on March 27th, 2010 at 8:36 PM by admin

The Corley family viewed their Lithonia home as part of the American Dream.

But then, as Anthony Corley put it, the yard fell in.

The family’s Shore Drive home is on a sinkhole, according to CBS Atlanta. They’ve spent nearly 10 years and $30,000 trying to fix it, but now the family tells CBS Atlanta that it must move out.

“The damage is too far gone, it’s beyond the driveway now,” Corley told CBS Atlanta.

On top of that, the homeowner’s insurance company dropped them, Corley said.

What’s wrong?

Start with the cracks that run throughout the house, CBS Atlanta said.

The driveway has collapsed – more than once – and the house has shifted to the point that it’s “actually ripping the water lines away from the toilet,” Corley told CBS Atlanta.

And in the laundry room, the family can see gas and water lines because of a huge hole, he said.

DeKalb County has deemed the house dangerous, CBS Atlanta said. The county replaced a pipe leading to a storm drain, and Corley said he thinks it’s the faulty one that caused all of the problems.

“The hole is still … every time it rains, the hole gets bigger and bigger,” Corley told CBS Atlanta

Read more about this Sinkhole Damage.

Atlanta Sinkhole