Forestdale man worries about sinkhole inching toward home

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Augustine Rutherford hasn’t used his driveway in weeks.

“The weight of my car would probably demolish the foundation of the driveway,” he said.

He parks his car on the street in front of his house and walks to his garage.

A sinkhole, which at his last measurement was about eight and a half feet wide and five feet deep, is of growing concern for Rutherford, more so than a year ago when he first noticed it.

It sits near the edge of his driveway, right behind his garage. He fears that it will eventually reach his house, a mere 21 feet away.

Mr. Rutherford says that his neighbor, who owns the property, had several engineers come out to take a look at the hole and they say it may not be an act of nature.  They explain there’s a possibility a broken drainage pipe that runs right down the side of the property could be the culprit.

“He’s called county and state officials trying to figure out what to do. One of the persons they recommended told me it would probably have to be the property owner or the property owner would probably have to get in touch with the builder.”

Since it is private property county officials say it isn’t their responsibility. The owner of the property, Rutherford’s neighbor, had the hole filled with dirt and cement but it all eventually collapsed.

Mr. Rutherford has spent months searching for answers and a solution before the hole extends to the foundation of his home.

We’ve done some research and here are a few things you can do if a sinkhole happens on or near your property. You can contact your property or homeowner’s insurance company, consider contacting a geological or geo-technical engineering company to assess the situation and if the sinkhole is in a residential neighborhood affecting public safety contact the city or county engineer’s office.

A sinkhole in a Forestdale neighborhood has two neighbors concerned.
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