Killeen: Sinkholes have residents of local neighborhood worried

(Photo by Tianna Jenkins)
(Photo by Tianna Jenkins)(KWTX)
Published: Dec. 20, 2017 at 6:52 PM CST
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Some residents who live along Kaitlyn Drive in Killeen say they’re concerned for their safety after a series of sinkholes appeared in their yards, but a fix may still be months off.

Samantha Perez says it started in the spring of 2016 after she noticed cracks forming along her property line and fencing.

At first she thought the cracks were a result of the heat, but after a heavy rain, a sinkhole appeared.

The contractor who built her home fixed it.

He thought the ground simply failed to settle around a pipeline.

A second sinkhole appeared in November 2016, Perez said.

This time she says she contacted the City of Killeen.

A crew came out and ran a camera through the pipeline, but found nothing wrong, so she again contacted the builder to fix the problem.

The third sinkhole appeared in the same spot in February, but she says this time it was a little wider and a little deeper.

Perez called the city again and a crew discovered the pipes had collapsed.

This time she was told the city was responsible and that city crews were in the process of fixing everything.

Then in April, a fourth sinkhole appeared.

This time a neighbor’s yard was also affected.

She says the city told her it would take about six weeks to correct the problem, provided the bidding process and city council approval went smoothly.

Apparently it didn’t, because Perez says from April to November, she didn’t hear anything from the city despite multiple calls, none of which was returned.

Now, she says, the problem is affecting the yards of other neighbors.

She says she can’t let her children play in the backyard because she’s afraid they’ll hurt themselves.

“It's getting closer to our house so we're seeing the effect in our house and we're also getting worried,” Perez said.

“We feel like there's just not taking it seriously enough.”

Killeen spokeswoman Hillary Shine says a fix is coming, however.

“Yes, we're aware of the issue and have been in contact with Ms. Perez multiple times,” she said.

“The city is currently engaging an engineer to design a solution for the whole area. We expect to begin constructing the fix in the spring,” she said.

She said Perez was provided with the information this week.

Perez, however, is hoping for a fix sooner than next spring.