Homeowners say city has failed to fix sinkhole growing for 5 years

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FOX46 is Getting Results for residents in East Charlotte who have been dealing with growing sink holes for five years. They said, every time the city comes out they’re told it will be another year before it’s fixed. 

Homeowners on Barrington Drive said several sink holes have been growing wider and deeper for years. The largest is 8ft. deep, five feet long and 3 feet wide. Homeowners said the most the city has done to secure the holes is place cones and tape around them. 

The problem started when a storm drain leading from the street in-between their houses cracked. 72-year old Eddie Nelson Bromell said he has no faith that the city will ever repair the pipe and fill the holes but he still hopes they will.  

Betty Saunders lives next door to Bromell and said, “We’ve called them every year since 2012 and each year they tell us they have other things that are going on and that they’ll get us the following year, okay. We’ll call back the following year, it’s the next year. “ 

She says they’ve even asked for gravel to fill in the holes so they won’t be so deep because it’s a safety issue but city workers told them they would have to buy it themselves. 

Saunders said, “Pets, people, you know, anything can fall in there. It’s very dangerous.” Bromell knows that danger all too well. He said he recently fell into one of the holes. “I fell in one with the back end of the lawn mower one day and I had hell getting out,” said Bromell. He fell again Wednesday, while walking through the grass. 

Saunders said a city inspector told her some people have had to wait 20 years for repairs. “It’s a big problem, it’s a safety issue and it should be a priority. They said that we were on the priority list but they also have a lot of people on that list. It looks like every year we are bumped off.”

Bromell said his home is starting to settle and the soft ground is causing problems with his foundation. Saunders said, “We are tax payers, as well as, people in South Charlotte and Pineville and we feel like we are not getting the kind of service that those people would get if they had this type of problem.”

Fed up with getting nowhere, Saunders turned to her Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield.  She spoke to Mayfield’s aid who said the Councilwoman would be in touch but Saunder’s said Mayfield never reached out. 

William Saunders said he's worried this problem could cause injury to his mom and others. "My mom is elderly, the couple next door is elderly and I'm afraid that somebody's going to get hurt one day,” said Saunders.

FOX46 reached out to the City of Charlotte Storm Water Department to find out why the broken pipe and sinkholes haven’t been repaired.

A spokeswoman offered this statement: “This drainage system is a private system and it remains the property owner's responsibility to take any remedial actions deemed necessary to protect private property pending services from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services."

She explained that the homeowner’s are responsible for the pipe and damage. However in this case, the property owner qualifies for a program where the city will repair the broken pipe because it carries storm water from a public drain.

 

FOX46 will continue to follow this story, please check back for updates. 

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