Thu. May 26th, 2022

ONE sinkhole in an Asheville neighborhood has nearly doubled in size, creating concern for residents.

The growing sinkhole on a Montford property has worried neighbors.

“This has been a constant source of stress for two months,” said Nat Dickinson, who lives next to the Montford sinkhole.

The sinkhole. (CNN)

Dickinson said he first noticed the hole along Montford Avenue back in July.

“Then we had the two big rain showers in August and it really opened it up a lot more,” he said.

Dickinson also says it blocks storm surges and forces stormwater into nearby homes, like his own.

“The water came rushing down the driveway and the backyard was flooded,” he said.

“My basement was flooded, too.”

Dickinson said he fears what may happen next, as the sinkhole has grown to his property boundary.

“No homeowners’ insurance covers either the sinkhole for these people, or if it damages our property or even if our house is condemned,” he said.



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IN PICTURES: The fearsome underwater sinkholes used for police diving training

“It also does not cover the runoff of the surface cover.”

Dickinson said he contacted the city of Asheville back in July but has received little help.

“It’s been really disappointing,” he said.

“Disappointing that no one called me until yesterday. We are 77 days in. Yesterday was the first time I had a conversation on the phone with anyone.”

Dickinson said an unresponsive rental company owns the property.

“I have no choice,” he said. “I do not know these people at all.”

News 13 is working to get in touch with the property owner, but we have not been able to reach them.

Poorly maintained infrastructure, soil erosion and wild weather can all contribute to the formation of a sinkhole.

IN PICTURES: Huge sinkhole swallows section of American golf course

Now Dickinson is calling on the city for help.

“No matter what happens if you have disconnected homeowners, the city must step in at some point,” he said.

A spokesman for the city of Asheville says the sinkhole is on private property, so it is up to the property owner to fill the gap.

The city also said the owners are working with a private engineering firm to solve the problem.

A timeline for the fix was not specified.

“It’s at the fence line now,” Dickinson said of the sinkhole.

“It’s at the property boundary, and once it affects my property, you know it.”

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He draws a line in the sand.

“Your only solution is to sue them,” he said. “Claim their liability insurance.”

Full statement from the city of Asheville:

“The sinkhole in Montford is on private property. City staff have been in contact with the owner of the property and the owner of the property has entered into a contract with an engineering firm. The city has placed barricades for security reasons.”

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