MARIETTA — A Marietta woman says a large sinkhole that has opened in her yard could threaten the safety of her home, and requests for help from the city to fix it have so far gone unanswered.
Marian Tiller Chancellor, who lives off James Street near Tower Road, said the about 15-foot-wide hole opened during the heavy rains and flooding last week.
The storm system brought up to 6 inches of rain to areas of Cobb County, collapsing roads, damaging government buildings and flooding homes in Marietta and Cobb.
Almost a week later, Tiller Chancellor said she hasn’t heard back from the city on her requests for help, and calls to Councilman Reggie Copeland, who represents her area, have also gone unanswered.
Tiller Chancellor said first responders came to her home to inspect the sinkhole, which has a large pipe running through it, when it first opened. It’s unclear what the pipe is used for. The first responders put caution tape around the area, but nothing else yet, she said.
Tiller Chancellor said she’s afraid to take care of the issue herself because she doesn’t know how and she doesn’t want to damage any city-owned pipes or utilities.
“I don’t have any control of that pipe,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
So far, the hole hasn’t grown, but with rain in the forecast later this week, Tiller Chancellor said she doesn’t feel confident about the hole staying as it is for much longer.
Meanwhile, she says she won’t even walk across other portions of her yard, because she sees other places sinking in. When the MDJ visited her home, another small area in the yard appeared to be sinking.
Tiller Chancellor said the area that collapsed used to be a creek, and maps show Noses Creek running through the property.
City officials told the MDJ because the sinkhole is on private property, there’s nothing they can do.
Marietta City Manager Bill Bruton said city staff has attempted to contact Tiller Chancellor but hasn’t received a call back. Bruton said the portion of the yard that collapsed is an area “where a creek was piped and covered over.”
“It appears to have been done when the house was constructed. This was not done by the city but appears to have been done by the developer in the 1960s,” he said.
Bruton said the Marietta Public Works Department would like to assist the owner “in any way possible,” adding that staff have left messages so they can “advise the owner on actions that she can take.”
“However,” Bruton said, “since this is on private property the City is not able to fix the sinkhole.”