Rain Runoff Creates Sinkholes In Yards

Frustration has flowed into the yards and homes of families in northwest Omaha, but answers have been in short supply.

The wet spring has caused damage and danger to grow toward two homes near 132nd and Fort streets. “It’s thousands of gallons coming through our yards,” said homeowner Tyler Hand. Swirling runoff from a commercial lot has created a sinkhole and cut a gorge leading into the back yards of two neighbors.

“The ground could be loose right here where I'm standing,” said homeowner John Hilson. “They could fall right through. It’s just not a safe environment." Hilson worries about his kids. “I got a swimming pool I didn't want."

Hand lives next door. “That's what I'd call them, sinkholes.”

The property manager for the land behind the homes blames grass clippings and wood piles left by others for diverting water flow and punching a hole in a protective berm. “My thumb can only hold so much water back,” said Hilson.

Fact Finders contacted city permits and inspections. “That's a lot of water coming at your property and if it’s going to undermine and not know where it’s going, it’s probably going to cause further damage so it’s in our best interest to look at it as quickly as we can,” said Omaha Permits and Inspections Superintendent Jay Davis.

The homeowners say the water flow problem needs fixing before the next downpour and they demand the neighboring lot owner to go below and beyond. “I'll keep fighting until someone picks up the tab on fixing our yards,” said Hand.

Fact Finders has learned the property manager for the landowner says the berm will be repaired as soon as possible to prevent more flooding. He's hired a contractor who will also repair damage to the neighbors’ fences and yards caused by the runoff.

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