GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Holes are popping up in the yards of Gulfport homes, causing concern from the residents who live there. Now, those residents are looking to take action before the holes get bigger and more dangerous.
In the front yard of Vicki Miller’s Bayou View home is a hole she says she first noticed a couple of months ago, and it’s growing.
“We do have a lot of children around here that play, and I’m so afraid a child is going to fall in this. And it’s deep enough to hurt,” said Miller.
After posting a picture of the hole on Facebook, Miller learned she wasn’t the only one with a hole in her yard in the area. Just down the street from Miller’s home, a hole was marked off with caution tape.
“Since I posted this, I’ve had 43 people tell me they have holes in their yard from 4-6 ft,” she said.
This isn’t the first time Miller is facing this issue. In 2016, the city filled in a hole around the same spot in her yard.
“I was told when they dug it up the first time that these sewer pipes are very old, and one by one they’re collapsing and crumbling,” Miller said.
WLOX reached out to the City of Gulfport about the hole in Miller’s yard. The director of public works Wayne Miller responded, saying, “This project was called in sometime in 2016 and repaired in 2016. Apparently, the issue has come back, and I had someone look at it today. And it will be repaired next week, weather pending".
The repair can't come soon enough for residents like Miller.
“I just know that there’s a hole in my yard, and it scares me. So, I just want it fixed,” Miller said.
A resident in another Gulfport neighborhood also complained about holes in her yard. Cory Barras has lived off Dedeaux Road on Stevens Circle for more than 35 years. Barras said earlier this year she first saw holes along the fence in her backyard.
Barras said she reported the problem to the city in April, but no action has been taken and she’s worried the holes will keep growing.
“It gets bigger and bigger, and I’m so scared of the rain because if this is an erosion, it will be okay," she said. “But I read about sinkholes, and the sinkhole might carry me six feet below the ground when I’m sleeping.”
According to Miller, “The fence in question is along a ditch line. The ditch line is eroding causing the cave-ins under the fence. I spoke to my drainage manager, and he said this work is scheduled to begin within the next three or four weeks weather pending."
To report holes opening up in your yard, contact Gulfport Public Works Department at 228-868-5742.