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Sinkholes on the rise in city
by Joseph Miller
Sep 06, 2013 | 366 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Young of 128 East Harris Circle in Corinth inspects a sinkhole in his front yard earlier this week. / Staff photo by Joseph Miller
James Young of 128 East Harris Circle in Corinth inspects a sinkhole in his front yard earlier this week. / Staff photo by Joseph Miller
If a person has ever traveled to Florida and came across a sinkhole, then he would more than likely know what a sinkhole looked like if he ever saw one again.

That is exactly what happened to James Young of 128 East Harris Circle in Corinth, who has traveled to Florida several times in his lifetime. James noticed a sinkhole in his front yard earlier this week right behind his mail box at his residence. He immediately knew what it was and he called the city street department.

“I got up Monday morning to go get my Daily Corinthian newspaper and there was a hole in the ground . . . and I am not sure what happened,” explained Young.

Young said he spoke with the Corinth Street Commissioner Philip Verdung, who told him the city would come out to inspect the hole.

“We have been getting a lot of these types of calls this year,” Verdung said. “People see these sinkholes in places like Florida and assume that they are going to turn into some big swallowing sinkhole and most of the time that isn’t the case. It has been a bad year for seeing a large number of sinkholes. We have seen two or three a week here over the past few months. However, they are usually just smaller ones, like the size of a garbage can.”

Sinkholes are defined as a natural depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse of the surface layer. In the Crossroads area, they are normally caused by damaged sewer or water lines and that happens more often if they are the older clay pipes, according to Verdung.

“These places with older clay pipes that have short sections allow the joints to open easier when they slightly move,” Verdung explained. “The least little inlet of flow will suck whatever it can through the hole and all we can do is fix the hole."

Verdung said the solution to fixing these types of sinkholes requires certain steps.

“We will go out and identify the problem first and foremost,” said Verdung. "Then, we fix the hole or the collapsed pipe and keep an eye on it. It is really a simple process that works most of the time.”

Young said he was going to keep and eye on the spot he found in his front yard. He said he was glad for the help he got from the street department and Verdung.

“I just know I have seen these sinkholes before and that this was definitely one here in my yard,” added Young. “I starting putting dirt in it a while back, but I noticed it wasn’t helping and that my mailboxes were starting to lean and stuff so … now that Mr. Verdung and his crew are addressing it, it should be alright.”

Verdung encourages anyone who may see a sinkhole in their yard, or in the area, to report it so it can be identifiedand fixed as soon as possible.

“Most of the time we can fix them with no problem,” said Verdung. “Our ground here in this area is not a soft and sandy as the ground in Florida. So we normally don’t have to worry about it turning into something big like those you see down there.”
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