Sinkholes: NE Tennessee more vulnerable than most of U.S. - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Sinkholes: NE Tennessee more vulnerable than most of U.S.

Posted: Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Federal court filings show holes used for sex acts inside Bristol adult novelty store

    Federal court filings show holes used for sex acts inside Bristol adult novelty store

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:58 AM EDT2014-08-28 05:58:06 GMT
    Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs. Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions.
    Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs. Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions.
  • July Mugshots - Northeast Tennessee

    July Mugshots - Northeast Tennessee

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 1:51 PM EDT2014-08-26 17:51:57 GMT
    The following are mugshots of individuals arrested on a variety of charges in July by local authorities in Northeast Tennessee.
    The following are mugshots of individuals arrested on a variety of charges in July by local authorities in Northeast Tennessee.
  • Man hospitalized after hitting his head on rock in Boone Lake

    Man hospitalized after hitting his head on rock in Boone Lake

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:38:48 GMT
    A Johnson City man was arrested Saturday after police said he assaulted his father with a hammer.According to police, Robert Collins, 25, attacked the victim, choked him, hit him with a hammer, and then smashed a kitchen window.Collins was charged with one count of aggravated domestic assault and one count of vandalism.He's in the Washington County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.Copyright WJHL 2014. All rights reserved.
    A Johnson City man was arrested Saturday after police said he assaulted his father with a hammer.According to police, Robert Collins, 25, attacked the victim, choked him, hit him with a hammer, and then smashed a kitchen window.Collins was charged with one count of aggravated domestic assault and one count of vandalism.He's in the Washington County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.Copyright WJHL 2014. All rights reserved.
(WJHL) -

Sinkholes can be devastating, destroying homes and even entire communities.

In August of 2012 in a neighborhood behind Love Chapel Elementary, a sinkhole opened up under one home's backyard, completely swallowing their pool. "It was scary, it was really scary. To look down in there and see a swimming pool 40 feet down, I have never seen that before," says Jay Roberts who lives directly across the street from the house.

That is not the only sinkhole in Unicoi County, a few others have surfaced, one even on Love Chapel Elementary School's campus, where in just a matter of a few hours the sinkhole grew from just a few feet to nearly thirty feet wide.  The sinkhole ended up forcing the school to shut down and relocate students to a safer building. Unicoi County's Emergency Management Director, Edward Herndon says it was the worst sinkhole he's seen in the county so far.

Love Chapel Elementary and the surrounding neighborhoods are susceptible to sinkholes because of the type of rock underground. Dr. Arpita Nandi, an Associate Professor of Geosciences at ETSU says it's the combination of the composition of the soil and the limestone that starts to dissolve every time it rains, and whenever the rain is absorbed into the soil the void in the ground grows over time and can eventually lead to a sinkhole.

For homeowners like Jay Roberts, a 17 year resident of the neighborhood Love Chapel is in and that's now being plagued by sinkholes, says he's not only concerned about the value of his house but also his life.

Dr. Nandi says residents and homeowners in Northeastern Tennessee are more vulnerable to sinkholes than other parts of the country because of the abundance of limestone, however the sinkholes here grow more gradually, allowing time for homeowners to act.

Some advice Dr. Nandi suggests for homeowners:

  • Find out if there's a history of sinkholes in your neighborhood because sinkholes are more prone to form in the same area as other ones.
  • Take a look to see if your home has any cracks in the doors or walls because this can suggest one side of your home is sinking lower than the other.
  • Look closely at your home's doors or windows and if they can open and close properly. This is a red flag that can warn a homeowner that there is a problem with the alignment of the house because part of the foundation may be sinking.
  • Check with your homeowner's insurance to find out if they offer coverage if a sinkhole appears on your property. Many insurance companies already include sinkhole coverage, however it's better to double check just in case.
  • Accident on I-81N causes Labor Day travel headaches

    Accident on I-81N causes Labor Day travel headaches

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:35 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:35:44 GMT
    According to VDOT's 511Virginia.org website, an accident on Interstate 81 North near mile marker 96 is causing major traffic delays.
    According to VDOT's 511Virginia.org website, an accident on Interstate 81 North near mile marker 96 is causing major traffic delays.
  • 2-year-old girl dies in Roanoke after being left in van

    2-year-old girl dies in Roanoke after being left in van

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:45:01 GMT
    Roanoke City Police are investigating the incident surrounding the death of a 2-year-old girl. According to a news release from police, officers were called to the 1500 block of Kenwood Boulevard SE at 4:27 p.m. Sunday for an unresponsive child.
    Roanoke City Police are investigating the incident surrounding the death of a 2-year-old girl. According to a news release from police, officers were called to the 1500 block of Kenwood Boulevard SE at 4:27 p.m. Sunday for an unresponsive child.
  • Labor Day blood drive happening in Roanoke

    Labor Day blood drive happening in Roanoke

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:13 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:13:31 GMT
    A Labor Day blood drive is being held today in Roanoke.It's at the Historic Lawson Building at 401 Gainsboro Road, NW.
    A Labor Day blood drive is being held today in Roanoke.It's at the Historic Lawson Building at 401 Gainsboro Road, NW.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.