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City: Sinkhole not ruled out in backyard ground collapse

Jun 25, 2013 -- 9:49am

Southeast Missourian

What led to the formation last week of a hole behind a vacant house on South Ellis Street apparently remains undetermined. Some possibilities have been ruled out, but the chance the hole could be another sinkhole remains. Last Tuesday night the Cape Girardeau Fire Department at responded to a call of a possible sinkhole at 1125 S. Ellis Street. Cape Public works director Tim Gramling says he remains unsure as to what caused the void. The hole represents no threat to any city facilities or infrastructure, so it is now considered a "private property issue" and will no longer be investigated by the city. Fire chief Rick Ennis said last week the fire department would monitor the area "to see if it's an isolated incident or if more occur," but was not considering it a sinkhole at the time. The property is owned by Coalter and Felty Investments. Jason Coalter says the hole, which is about 8 feet wide and 10 feet deep, raises concerns about "underlying soil or structural issues" and whether it could affect people living in the area.

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