Neighbors looking for help after yards begin to sink

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

Crews already had to dig up neighbor Linda Johnson's driveway to repair pipes that had cracked.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Residents in a DeKalb County neighborhood said their yards are shifting and they are being stuck with the resulting repair bills.

The owners of townhomes in the Covington Station subdivision said they've tried reaching the company that built the buildings 12 years ago, but the builders are out of business or have merged with other companies and they've had no luck reaching anyone.

Homeowner Cedric Merritte said he's repaired the pipes in his front yard three times already and now he has a hole and a pile of dirt as he waits for another repair.

"It's pushing close to a thousand dollars now," Merritte said.

Crews already had to dig up neighbor Linda Johnson's driveway to repair pipes that had cracked.

"$950 for something I didn't create," Johnson told Channel 2's Tony Thomas.

Each time, residents said plumbers told them rock, bricks and other debris left in the soil after construction are to blame.

"These rocks set on top of the pipeline and after so long it puts pressure on the pipe, rupturing it," Merritte said.

Across the neighborhood, an entire backyard is sinking and has a 4-foot hole on one end where the soil has caved in. The nearest townhome doesn't seem affected so far.

"In the neighborhood when I pass by, you see orange cones in the driveway because plumbing companies are out here repairing plumbing problems, so it's the majority of the neighborhood," said resident Chandra McMillan.

Residents told Thomas they've tried calling the original builders several times but the company can't be reached.

Thomas tried as well, but wasn't successful either.

Channel 2 Action News is not naming the builder since representatives cannot be reached for comment.

For now, residents are left waiting and worrying, wondering whose yard will be next and how much it will cost.

"Come on, you couldn't dispose of those rocks?" Johnson said. "Everybody in this subdivision is going to have this problem."

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