Neighbors say problems got worse after city tried to fix sinkhole
BATON ROUGE - A sinkhole was fixed, but the mend resulted in a much larger disaster. Now, the people living on either side of that hole are speaking to 2 On Your Side.
The area is surrounded by stakes skirted with an orange plastic barricade. David Coco lives next to it and describes it as a 4x12' disaster.
"It's way bigger than it was before," he said.
It started off small, about two feet around. It was a dip Coco avoided while mowing the lawn.
"I had to make sure I didn't get one of the wheels in it because it was hard to get it out," Coco said.
He says the city was notified about the hole awhile ago and did a smoke test. The spot sat barricaded and stable for a few years until October 2022 when a crew came out with heavy machinery.
"Without any warning, the city just showed up one day and dug this 12x12' excavation," Coco said.
The ground was dug up, the pipe mended, ground filled in and sodded over. A few days later, the ground started sinking again.
"Evidently there's still leaking," said Cal Simpson, who lives on the other side of the sinkhole.
They called the city again and someone came out to put a bigger barrier around the area. It's been sitting that way ever since. Coco says the spot is holding water and takes awhile to drain.
The source of the problem is a drainage pipe that runs from the street between the properties to Ward Creek. The West side of Drusilla Lane doesn't have problems with flooding, but the East side does. Some of those houses flooded during May 2021.
All along the way there are trouble signs of a problem. Coco has small holes opening up in his backyard. Next door, Simpson's concrete decking around his pool is dipping and separating from the side of the pool.
"It brings concern over time what this has done to my concrete around my swimming pool, it's recessed some," Simpson said. "It's very noticeable."
If the damage continues and time goes on, Simpson wonders if his home foundation is next. He can't afford to wait for the pipe to be repaired properly.
"I hope we get some sort of resolution soon," he said.
Coco agrees. They're both asking for the city to make repairs quickly.
The city says it plans to take a look at the sinkhole this week.
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