12 OYS: Father says sinkhole could be dangerous for neighborhood students

News 12 This Morning/Thursday May 1, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)--Wayne Jenkins has lived on Lonsdale Drive for three years.

"I have a daughter. She's 12. She loves to come out and play. And the girls up the street come down here and play with her," he explained.

But, since last summer, Jenkins says he's been hesitant to let his daughter play in the yard.

"I noticed this big sink hole in my front yard at the edge of the street. So I started calling utilities. And, it's been like nine months and no one has ever come out," said Jenkins.

Measuring the depth of the hole straight down, it's almost three feet deep. The width of the hole seems to extend several more feet.

Jenkins says he's also worried because his front yard serves as a school bus stop for the children in his neighborhood.

"My main concern is the school bus that stops every morning to pick up the kids right here and the weight of that school bus...it could easily just crash in or cave in," he said.

After calling News 12, Jenkins says he finally got a response from the city of Augusta.

"No one never came out until I called Channel 12 On Your Side," he said. "When I called Channel 12...here they come."

We had our camera rolling as workers from the Augusta Engineering Department checked the ground.

They couldn't talk on camera, but explained that a pipe may have burst, eroding land from underneath several yards in the neighborhood, including Jenkins'.

"So everyone is really going through the same problem," said Jenkins. "There's no dirt underneath the curb all the way up the street. No dirt at all. I would like them to solve this problem so that no kids life will be in danger."

The Augusta Utilities director, Tom Wiedmeier, tells News 12 utilities workers did respond to Jenkins home late Wednesday evening.

He says they're now determining if it's something the department can fix, or something Jenkins and his neighbors will have to handle.

He says a crew will be back again Thursday morning.

They've now fenced off the area so the school bus will pick up and drop of students in another, more safe spot in the neighborhood.


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