West Portal Sinkholes Could Combine into One Big Cavity Threatening Entire Neighborhood

By Brian Shields

Mon Mar 4th, 2013 10:17pm America/Los_Angeles

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — At least six families in San Francisco’s West Portal neighborhood are staying in temporary quarters as the city monitors a series of sinkholes opening up under their homes.

The city has red-tagged three homes meaning no one can go inside and yellow-tagged three other homes. That means residents need permission to go in.

Many of the residents say they are finding big holes opening up in the floor of their home. For one resident a big hole split the floorboards in his daughters’ bedroom.

“It’s kind of scary seeing a hole under your foundation,” resident Raymond Kruse tells KRON 4′s Justine Waldman. “I have young girls and that’s their bedroom that’s over their hole so it’s not something you want to think about.”

For other homeowners the news is a little better.

“The engineers have been here and they seem to think everything is very stable downstairs so I just have my fingers crossed,” resident Marina Simonian tells Justine.

For the Wilson family, a small sinkhole in the house has grown to 20 feet in diameter. Their home is one of those red-tagged. Their biggest frustration right now is waiting for a decision from their homeowners insurance company which won’t come until Friday.

“There’s a little bit of misinformation going on now,” red-tagged home owner Chuck Wilson says. “It seems they’re covering their backsides perhaps. We just want to plan.”

Engineers say the neighborhood is built on an old creek bed. The question now is how stable is the soil under the endangered homes and the fear is that the series of small sinkholes could combine into one big one that would undermine the entire neighborhood.

Stay tuned to KRON 4 and KRON4.com for the latest on this developing story.

(Copyright 2013, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

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