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Growing sinkhole on North Carolina property has neighbors concerned

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By Kristen Aguirre

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — A sinkhole in an Asheville neighborhood has nearly doubled in size, causing concern for residents.

Growing sinkhole on Montford property has neighbors concerned

“This has been a constant source of stress for two months,” Nat Dickinson, who lives next door to the sinkhole in Montford, said.

Dickinson said he first noticed the hole along Montford Avenue back in July.

“Then we had those two big rainstorms in August, and that really opened it up much more,” he said.

Dickinson also says it’s blocking storm culverts, forcing storm water into nearby homes, like his own.

“The water came rushing down the driveway, and the backyard was flooded,” he said. “My basement was flooded, as well.”

Dickinson said he fears what could happen next as the sinkhole has grown to his property line.

“No homeowners insurance covers neither the sinkhole for these folks or if it damages our property or even if our house is condemned,” he said. “Nor does it cover surface cover runoff.”

Dickinson said he contacted the City of Asheville back in July but has received little help.

“That’s been really disappointing,” he said. “Disappointing that no one called me back until yesterday. We are 77 days in. Yesterday was the first time I had a conversation on the phone with somebody.”

Dickinson said an unresponsive rental company owns the property.

“I’ve got no recourse,” he said. “I don’t even know these people at all.”

News 13 is working to get in touch with that property owner, but we have been unable to reach them so far.

Now Dickinson is calling on the city for help.

“Whatever happens, if you have disengaged homeowners, at some point, the city needs to step in,” he said.

A spokesperson for the City of Asheville says the sinkhole is on private property, so it’s up to the property owner to fill the hole. The city also said the owners are working with a private engineer firm to resolve the issue.

A timeline for the fix was not listed.

“It’s at the fence line now,” Dickinson said of the sinkhole. “It’s at the property line, and once it affects my property, you know.”

He’s drawing a line in the sand.

“Your only recourse is to sue them,” he said. “Sue their liability insurance.”

Full statement from the City of Asheville:

“The sinkhole located in Montford is on private property. City staff have been in contact with the property owner, and the property owner has contracted with an engineering company. The City has placed barricades for safety.”

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