Sinkholes becoming a more common problem around metro Atlanta, according to watershed expert

ATLANTA — Sinkholes typically show themselves after heavy rain or flooding, but there’s more to the problem than that.

Channel 2 Action News has documented some of the most serious cases in the city and out in the counties. In some cases, entire cars and roadways are sucked into the earth.

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The repairs take time and also cause traffic congestion.

SCA Construction CEO and partner Reese Alley said he and his team are seeing them now more than ever due to the region’s aging infrastructure.

He said the stormwater pipeline running underground was built to last 25 to 30 years, and that time is up. Holes have formed due to rust or resettlement.

“During a storm where you’ve got a super heavy, couple inch or inch per hour rain, it’s hauling through the pipe, and It’s basically picking up sediment around the pipe and carrying it down the pipe,” said Alley. “So, the final collapse is the very product of months and months and months, or years, of erosion.”

He said his company works with the top engineers in Atlanta to fix the problem.

SCA has emergency crews that work pop-up sinkholes after storms. That’s in addition to the crews they already have working problem areas that were caught in advance.


“They’re quite dangerous in a couple of different applications,” said Alley. “You want to make sure you’re not driving next to it, walking next to it. If you’ve got kids running around, make sure you put a fence up. Make sure pedestrians aren’t going by.”

Alley said you can predict where sinkholes will soon open up by spotting spider cracks on asphalt and concrete or sinking land.

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