• Lincolnton woman says city storm drain caused sinkhole in her front yard

    By: Paul Boyd


    LINCOLNTON, N.C. - A woman told Channel 9 a Lincolnton city storm drain caused a sinkhole in her front yard.

    “It’s very dangerous. It’s a deep hole,” homeowner Carolyn Bradshaw said.

    Bradshaw, 74, told Channel 9 every time it rains the water comes flowing down the hill and into the drain. The water is supposed to run all the way to the back of that property, but it's actually created a sinkhole.

    The hole is eight feet deep.

    Bradshaw said she got stuck riding her lawnmower a few days ago. Her granddaughter said a closer look revealed more holes all over the property.

    "Someone could get hurt. Killed,” Bradshaw’s granddaughter, Tiffany Thomas, said.

    [RELATED: Second sinkhole in a year develops on Montana Drive in west Charlotte]

    "Well, we play ball up here, and there's just a big hole here,” Bradshaw’s great-granddaughter, Harleigh Smith, said.

    The family said they want the city of Lincolnton to fill the holes and install a new drain and pipes.

    "They're saying that it's not their problem,” Bradshaw said.

    The city said the holes are on private property.

    Channel 9 took the family’s concerns to the city's Public Works director, Steve Peeler

    "That is our drain, but here again, once that storm water leaves the right of way of the city it becomes the property owner's responsibility,” Peeler said.

    The homeowners said they've paid taxes for 33 years and don't understand why the city is not treating this as a public emergency.

    The city said unless the sinkhole expands closer to road it's not taking action.

    One estimate for the homeowner to repair the problem herself came in at $100,000.

    "I don't have the finances to fix it and I don't want anybody getting hurt,” Bradshaw said.

    The property owners are hoping that other people in Lincolnton and other surrounding counties will see this story and come forward, so they can join together and try to find a solution.

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