• 60-foot wide sinkhole opens up for 2nd time next to woman's home

    By: Matt Johnson

    Updated:

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A DeKalb County woman says it's too terrifying to sleep in her own home after an 11-foot sinkhole formed in her backyard.

    "It's pretty much the length of my house," said Cassandra Ruffin.

    The sinkhole makes it impossible for her get to a good night's rest in her own bed.

    "I'm disappointed, and I'm afraid to stay in this house while it's raining," she said.

    The sinkhole formed last Tuesday, next to the house off Covington Highway when heavy rain caused a pipe to burst underneath her yard. Earlier that day, crews performed a video inspection and found a slight separation in the pipe.

    They ruled out the need for emergency repairs.

    Ruffin shared a picture from a sinkhole in 2015 caused by the same pipe, but it was repaired and not replaced as she had hoped then.

    "If it was addressed back then, I wouldn't be going through this situation right now," Ruffin said.


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    A county spokesperson told Channel 2's Matt Johnson that emergency repairs are now underway. They will need a 78-inch diameter pipe to replace the old pipe.

    Ruffin's brother-in-law worries about her with more rain in the forecast.

    "This happened in 12 hours. What (happens) in the next 12 hours that it's raining week after week?" he said.

    Ruffin says she was told it could be three weeks until the repairs are made. Even then, she says, things may never return back to normal.

    "Even if they fix the hole, I'm still not going to feel safe staying here because I don't know if it's going to be done correctly because it wasn't done correctly the first time," she said.

    Some of the pipe the county needs is available, but they will likely need at least a half dozen more pipes of the same size to connect them all together.

    Pipes that big aren't kept in stock in the county and they have to purchase enough before they can get started.

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