Hopewell woman says city is to blame for dangerous holes in her yard

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — A Hopewell homeowner claims that dangerous holes in her yard are the city’s fault. She’s called multiple times for answers but still hasn’t heard a solution.

Lillian Whitlock blames faulty culverts installed by the city years ago for the six holes in her backyard.

“The porch is settling back, the house is settling on that end, and my front porch is cracking, and that’s the reason why all that’s going on, because of the situation with the culverts.”

An engineer told Whitlock the culverts have cracks in them, which has caused water to seep out and lead to sinking ground. She says the city’s short-term solutions don’t work.

“They came out one time and filled in a couple of holes with rocks and dirt,” she explained. “And then after a real bad rain it washes out again.”

Whitlock has gone as far as putting makeshift barriers near the holes, using cones and cinderblocks to keep her children and pets from possibly falling into one of them.

“If they fall in the hole, they could get hurt,” she said. “And you know homeowners ain’t gonna pay for that.”

Whitlock says calls and emails to city leaders for the past four years have left her without many options. 8News reached out to the City of Hopewell’s public works department, engineering department and the city manager, who did not know about the issue and doesn’t recall any frustrations from Whitlock. The city manager declined to comment further.

“I want them to fix the problem, not remedy it,” Whitlock said. “Everybody wants to remedy something. Don’t remedy it, fix it so it doesn’t happen again and that way you don’t have to keep on coming back out.”

The City of Hopewell says it’s looking into the matter to keep residents like Whitlock from remaining unhappy.

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