Parents in Cleburne Concerned Over Growing Sinkhole - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Parents in Cleburne Concerned Over Growing Sinkhole

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    Parents in Cleburne Concerned Over Growing Sinkhole

    A giant sinkhole is worrying residents in a North Texas city. With children playing just yards away, people in the area are calling on the city to get it fixed. NBC 5's Samantha Chatman Responds. (Published Friday, March 1, 2019)

    There's a giant sinkhole that continues to grow in Cleburne.

    "It looks an asteroid came down," a local kid playing nearby told us.

    One person who measured it said it is nearly 10 feet deep.

    "That terrifies me," said Kelly Litsinger

    She and her daughter live just yards away from the sinkhole.

    "She walks home from school every day and she...hopefully doesn’t go over there," she said.

    Last week, her neighbor's dog got loose and fell inside the sinkhole.

    "He's lucky to still have his dog and I'm lucky the dog wasn't hurt," she said.

    The root of problem is a storm drainage pipe that's crumbling, causing the area around it to collapse.

    The sinkhole is growing on the property of a Cleburne church.

    Isaac Green, a deacon for the church, said the sinkhole has been growing on his church’s property for years.

    "I've been going down to the city for the last seven to eight years, longer than that," he said.  "It's not being taken care of. It's not being addressed."

    Green said the city of Cleburne said they would fix it.

    "We've waited a long time and this thing is growing by leaps and bounds," he explained.

    As residents continue to wait, more sinkholes in the area are popping up.

    Instead of addressing the problem, Green said the city put up orange barriers.

    He believes this is not enough.

    "I mean, when I was a kid, a fence couldn't stop me from going where I want to go," he said. "We have a lot of children. Behind us there's children. In front of us there's children, and if they get in this hole, they're not getting out."

    "So, we hope that in contacting you, it will put a fire up under them so they'll do the right thing," Green said.

    The city of Cleburne didn't want to talk to me on camera, but in a statement, a spokesperson called the current conditions "unacceptable."

    The city said in part "Although this sinkhole is in the middle of an open field and has not affected services, staff identified this repair as a priority and immediately made plans to remedy the sinkhole."

    Green said this is the first sign that Cleburne is actually going to do something.

    As the safety officer of this small church, he said it's his duty to protect the congregation and the residents who believe they deserve better.

    "It's going to be a bigger problem if someone gets hurt in there," he said.

    The city of Cleburne tells me they are in the process of obtaining the necessary materials and hiring a specialized contractor to make the repairs as quickly as possible.

    The contractor is scheduled to come out next week to examine the drainage pipe and those sinkholes.

    I will stay on top of this to see how soon the city will have a solution.

    The city has not yet determined the costs of the repairs. That will be arranged with the contractor at a later date, and those costs will be paid for by the city.

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