8 On Your Side: Woman can’t get straight answer about growing hole in backyard

PORT RICHEY, Fla.  (WFLA) –- A Tampa Bay area woman has turned to 8 On Your Side for help after seeing a hole growing right outside her back porch.backyardhole2

Fran Hager said the hole started out the size of a football and it turned into a hole about 25 feet wide by 10 feet deep. She claims management at the Windtree Apartments is just trying to put a Band-Aid on the problem.

News Channel 8 wanted to know if people like Fran and her neighbors are safe? One county official told 8 On Your Side it’s safe “as long as” they stay away from the area but that could be tough because it’s right next to a building, the shuffleboard court, and a pool.

When we asked Fran Hager what’s wrong with the situation, she said, “This is a safety hazard for everyone around here.”

She was standing just feet away from her apartment that she shares with her fiance and 3-year-old son. She said it keeps her awake at night.

Fran says it started out small about six months ago and has been growing ever since. Management, on the other hand, says not so fast. They say the ground opened up about a month ago about the size of an office desk.  That’s when they say they called a company to dig up the hole and found the reason for it opening up.

backyardhole4A broken pipe is to blame. The company digging it up is the reason why the hole is so big now, management said over the phone. Fran’s not buying it.

When asked if she was satisfied with management’s response, Fran said, “No.  I’m not.  Because I don’t feel like they’re answering my questions.  You tell me it’s a leaking drainage pipe but the Earth keeps opening, makes no sense to me and I’m sorry.  I don’t see why a leaking drainage pipe would be open for six months.”

A county official told News Channel 8 that it’s not a sinkhole but a utility issue .

The official said it appears a culvert leaves the county road and crosses the apartment complex to a pond. The complex seems to have tied into that culvert and the pipe has failed just after the tie-in. The plans are archived on microfilm and they are trying to recover them to get a detailed look at the property’s infrastructure.

It has not been determined who is responsible for the pipe. If the county is responsible, it could be at least a year before they even look at it because of budgetary constraints. If the management company is responsible, they told News Channel 8 they would have a crew out to fix the problem by next week.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be able to wake up without my building falling in,” Fran said.

The county is working to temporarily fill the hole to keep people safe.

Get our hottest stories
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for News Channel 8’s Noon Newsletter to get
updates on the day’s top stories


WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s