Sinkholes are swallowing property in Opelika. One homeowner says he's lucky he took a break from cutting the grass when he did, otherwise he may have sunk 20 feet into the ground along with a large tree in his front yard.
Heavy rain is doing more than just flooding streets and overflowing creeks in Opelika, it's causing tall trees to be sucked into the ground. Jerome Hamby was cutting the grass Wednesday afternoon when the ground gave away right in the place where he was about to resume work after a short break.
"I praise the lord that I came to take a break, because if I was out there - I was just cutting around that - you know what I mean? If I was out there cutting, I would probably be in that hole with the tree."
Sinkholes are becoming a recurring problem for this part of Opelika near Lee Road 704. Hamby says a road in his neighborhood was forced to close because of the ground caving in. He says the problem is partly due to drilling at a nearby rock quarry.
"Well, they say they're going to shut this thing down in August, and they tell me then that it should do away with the sink holes in this community."
This is the second time a large sink hole has done damage to his property in recent years. He wants to move, but the offers he's getting on his house are less than he paid for it.
"It's a shame, I'm going on 76, you work all your life to have a home and then you deal with this. And believe me, it puts a lot of stress on you. A lot of stress."
Until then, he'll have to hire professionals to help him pull a tree out from deep in the ground that once stood high above his property.
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