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Neighborhood weighs options to repair massive sinkhole

Published: Apr. 28, 2015 at 10:27 PM CDT
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LAKE PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - Members of an East Texas neighborhood are meeting to discuss repairing a sinkhole that a woman fell into while trying to warn others of the danger.

The sinkhole, which is 50 feet wide and 35 feet deep, opened up Monday on Wiley Drive, in the Shady Brook subdivision on Lake Palestine.

Monday night, a woman crashed into the sinkhole and had to go to the hospital. It took fire crews and neighborhood volunteers an hour and a half to get the woman out of the hole.

"She was one of our volunteers," says R.L. Hartgraves of the Shady Grove Property Owners Association.

Hartgraves says a portion of Wiley Drive collapsed on Monday, and since it's a private drive, it's up to residents to manage it. 

"While placing security around where the road had given way she'd stepped off and fallen into a 30 foot drop," says Jacksonville Fire Chief  Keith Fortner.

And says its likely to get bigger.

"Soon after the individual was rescued out of the hole by the responders and placed on some safe ground more of that road gave way," says Fortner. "The more rain that we get and now that the road had shown it can already give way little pieces could break off."

Fire crews say the cause of the sink hole is simple.

"The accumulation of bad rain and weather we've had lately has caused a lot of land shifting and I this time that's what we think caused it," says Fortner.

Hargraves says at one point the road did have a 100 foot culvert underneath, but that isn't the case any more.

"In the middle of it somehow or another it went away. The water rushed up and washed the dirt out," says Hartgraves.

Hartgraves also says they have met with a contractors and have an estimate on the cost to fix the road. He says they hope to have it repaired as soon as possible so no other residents are put in danger.

Meanwhile, the woman who fell into the sinkhole was treated and released. Right now, a detour around the sinkhole has been set up.

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