Sanford woman trapped by massive sinkhole in driveway - WNEM TV 5

Sanford woman trapped by massive sinkhole in driveway

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MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A Sanford woman is caught in the middle after a massive sinkhole opened in her driveway.

“I was just shocked that it was so big,” Sandy Smith said.

The sinkhole in Smith’s driveway is 15 feet by 18 feet wide and 8 feet deep.

Smith said she’s worried that it could keep growing.

“You just don’t know how much more is going to go of the ditch,” she said.

Smith said the sinkhole is right over a drain installed by Midland County over 40 years ago. She said the hole was caused by the heavy flooding Mid-Michigan saw last month.

It’s creating quite an issue getting in and out of her house.

“It’s been difficult,” Smith said. “I have bad knees and it makes it even rougher getting back and forth.”

Smith said the cost to fix the sinkhole is $6,000. A price Smith said the county should pay because they’re the ones who installed the drain in the first place.

“They told me that they were not going to fix it and I was going to fix it,” Smith said.

Drain Commissioner Douglas Enos wasn’t available to speak with TV5 on camera, but said the sinkhole isn’t the county’s problem because once something is fully installed, it’s on the homeowner to fix it.

Smith doesn’t agree.

“This is the drain the county put in. It’s not something my family put in. It wasn’t something we decided we would go with this size tube, it was what the county did,” Smith said.

Enos said Smith does have another option – a petition that would need to be signed by five people to start a project to repair the entire drain.

However, there’s a catch. It would require maintenance for the whole drain on the entire street.

Smith said this would create more problems instead of solving them.

“They will clean the whole drain from the start to the finish and then that cost will be assessed back on our taxes. Well, needless to say, that will be a whole lot more than $6,000. It will be maybe $100,000 to drain the whole ditch,” Smith said.

At this point, Smith said she doesn’t know what she's going to do because the county won’t help and she just doesn’t have the money to do it herself.

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