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Multiple calls to fix growing sinkhole gone unanswered

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DENHAM SPRINGS - There's a sinkhole in Richard Bigelow's backyard that's been growing since April. He says he's given the parish plenty of opportunities to fix the problem but it has not.

Bigelow's wife is an active gardener. Next to their budding vegetables is a sinkhole that opened up months ago.

"It's kind of scary," he said.

It started out as a small hole that's grown over time. Inside the hole is a white pipe that carries storm water to a pond behind Bigelow's home.

"There's a leak somewhere," he said.

At first, Bigelow called the Homeowner's Association in the Arbor Walk subdivision for help. The HOA filled in the hole with sand, but two rains later and the sand washed away. A couple weeks later he called the City-Parish and the Department of Public Works agreed the problem needed to be fixed.

Time slipped away. Bigelow says he called to check on the project's progress but calls were not returned. Then the August flood hit. Knowing the project load would be heavier than normal, Bigelow gave DPW some time before calling again in December.

"I said, 'We've got to take care of this problem it's getting worse,'" he said.

The back end of his property around the sinkhole is sinking. When it rains, Bigelow say she can see water running down the sides of the pipe inside the hall. Two, three, four calls went unanswered.

"And that's when Monday or Tuesday I called 2 On Your Side," he said.

2 On Your Side called DPW Tuesday. Bigelow says someone from the parish visited his home to inspect the sinkhole. They also agreed it needed to be fixed. Right now, he's waiting for the parish to follow through.

Livingston Parish DPW says it will repair Bigelow's backyard once the ground dries because heavy equipment is needed. DPW also tells 2 On Your Side the last two times it visited Bigelow's home, the ground was too wet. WBRZ will check in with the parish next week about the tentative repair schedule.


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