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South Richmond couple panics over sinking yard

RICHMOND, Va. –There are more than flowers growing in the front yard of Frank Hill’s Oak Grove neighborhood, in South Richmond.

“This row of flowers had been here for a long time,” said Frank Hill.

“It looks like it was sinking down,” said Hill.

Something is causing this area to cave in.

“So, I got the rake.  And I pulled the flowers off of it.  And it was a large hole that went back up under the sidewalk,” said Hill.

Hill believes the hole is four-feet deep.

“I can feel no bottom.  And you can see how far that goes in there then,” said Hill.

Hill contacted the city.

“It’s something that I haven’t seen.  And other people come by and look at it, and they wonder what it is,” said Hill.

He says Richmond’s department of Public Utilities responded.

“We did an investigation that determined the cave-in is on private property,” said Angela Fountain, spokesman, Richmond department of Public Utilities.

But DPU spokesperson Angela Fountain tells CBS 6 that crews found an underground sewer line connected to Hill’s property.

“For a case like this, we use what’s called a CCTV, a closed circuit tv that we actually run through the pipes.  So, that we can get a bird’s eye view of exactly what’s going on in that pipe,” said Fountain.

Fountain says the problem could be anything from blockage to a break in the line.

“We know that something’s going on with that pipe,” said Fountain.

As for Frank Hill, he just wants the work done sooner than later.

“I feel that it might sink more going towards my house or just like we’re standing here now,” said Hill.  “It could give way.”

Fountain tells CBS 6, crews will return to Hill’s South Richmond home next week.

Miss Utility will mark the street before they dig up the street.

If you spot a section of your property caving in or think it may be a sinkhole, call Richmond’s department of Public Utilities at 646-7000.

Fountain says crews have up to 15 days to respond unless it’s an emergency.

 

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