HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - While our recent rain has been a big help to farmers, one homeowner in Owens Cross Roads isn't exactly counting his blessings. Rain may have contributed to a massive sinkhole opening up in the Sanctuary Cove neighborhood, just off of Taylor Road.
“It was a sinking sensation fighting traffic of course," said Jared Jimison, the homeowner.
There is no worse feeling, especially around the holidays, than getting a call at work telling you something's wrong at home. “What’s my house gonna look like when I get there? "Will it be there? All of these things run through your mind," said Jimison. "It was not there at 11 o'clock when the neighbor went to run an errand and then she was in her kitchen around 2:30 and looked out the window and saw ‘yard missing’- that was the way she described it to me.”
Jared finally made it back Monday to find a 12-foot-deep sinkhole in perhaps the worst spot possible: not on the easement of the property where the city could help out, and dangerously close to his house. "The stability of the hole collapsing as it got closer to the garage - that’s where it became a concern for us," said Jimison.
The sinkhole ruptured the water line and came just inches from taking out the gas line. As first time home owners, he and his wife were terrified.
“I couldn’t do anything, I’m completely powerless and then having a complete fleet of workers tell me, well that’s quite the hole but we can’t help you either. That was a very anxious moment for me," he said.
Jimison's fear finally subsided when he reached a contractor that would agree to take on the job.
But when work begins, it will come out of his own wallet. Jared discovered he doesn't have sinkhole protection as a part of his home insurance. "We’ve discussed it as a neighborhood, everybody’s been trying to see if they can add it as an added precaution," he said.
It's the type of add-on you don't think you'll need until you do and Jared hopes he'll be an example to others. In the meantime, since the sinkhole opened up their home, others have offered theirs to the Jimisons for a place to sleep.
“Our community in Sanctuary Cove has been great," said Jimison.
Having good neighbors? There's a no better feeling.
"They’ve done nothing but wish us well, see if we needed anything," he said.
The contractor has a crew on site today (Wednesday) working to fill the hole. They hope to have the project finished by the end of today, or Thursday morning.