Sinkhole, Drainage Problems Cost Local New Business Thousands - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Sinkhole, Drainage Problems Cost Local New Business Thousands

Thousands of people have been driving by the giant cowboy hat on Tyler's west Loop 323.

It's another Yahooz coffee house, but it hasn't opened because of what's happening dozens of feet underground.

It was two days before grand opening, when a 15-foot-deep sinkhole opened up during the deluge a couple of weeks ago.  It turns out that decades-old drainage pipes well underground had crumbled, and the water ate away at the soil.

Now, owner Valerie Smith has had the hole temporarily filled.  But she faces a huge expense to repair the damage.  

"We had quite a bit of work to be done to determine who owns these pipes. The city said the state, and the state said the city.  And it turns out it probably is now us," Smith says.

The broken pipes weren't on the survey for the new building. 

Smith is telling others looking to build in East Texas, especially on sandy soil, to get extensive analysis of the soil before starting. 

Meanwhile, she says it'll be a minimum of two to three weeks before Yahooz finally opens on the west Loop.


Morgan Palmer, reporting

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