East Houston sinkhole causing concern

March 6, 2008 11:05:14 AM PST
A giant sinkhole in one east Houston neighborhood is inching closer and closer to one woman's home. And on Wednesday, city crews closed off part of a street to try and fix the problem. It's a growing problem that has people there concerned. Peeking out from inside their east Houston home, Carmen Navarro and James Turnini wonder about the ground it sits on.

"I was very concerned that by walking on it, it could cave in," said Navarro.

In recent months, they've watched as what they think is a sinkhole developed on their street and inched closer and closer to the window they watched from.

"That's what we were afraid of," said Turnini. "That the house was going to sink in to the sinkhole."

It's not the first time they've called the city to try to get something done. Navarro claims the city has made repairs there on at least three different occasions. She wonders why whatever's happening there is happening again. She said it took two months for the city to run tests and take action.

"It's got to get done before somebody gets hurt," said Navarro.

The city blames the delay on the hundreds of calls it gets daily requesting infrastructure repair and recent foul weather that kept workers from going into the storm drain to look for a leak.

"There's no way to know until we get down there that we can tell what's going on," said Public Works Spokesperson Alvin Wright.

Wright says before construction, the alleged sinkhole wasn't nearly as expansive as residents there had said. Still, he said something there was clearly wrong. Crews on Wednesday found groundwater that was edging up into the aging storm drainage system, causing the surrounding ground to move. Repairs are now underway.

"We want to assure that we don't have to go out there again, so we're going to do the best job that's possible to make sure that doesn't happen," said Wright.

Wright says that no home was ever in any danger and that no one was, either. He knows the city is spending hundreds of millions of dollars repairing and replacing the city of Houston's aging storm drainage system.

Another big sinkhole caused problems in a southeast Houston neighborhood back in January. A damaged storm drain caused the 25-foot crater in the Riverside subdivision. Several trees and part of a fence were damaged. City crews worked for weeks to solve that problem.

- Headlines at a glance


Load Comments