Large sinkhole in Church Hill just part of neighborhood residents’ concerns

Tray Ling

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A large sinkhole popped up in a Richmond neighborhood and now city crews are working to make repairs. Church Hill residents told 8News they noticed a big hole in the street after Saturday’s strong storm. 8News spoke to Paris White, a city resident, who says it […]

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A large sinkhole popped up in a Richmond neighborhood and now city crews are working to make repairs. Church Hill residents told 8News they noticed a big hole in the street after Saturday’s strong storm.

8News spoke to Paris White, a city resident, who says it was like the ground opened up in front of his eyes.
“It was something to see,” exclaimed White.

That something he’s referring to is the large sinkhole that appears to have formed after weekend storms rolled through the Richmond area that also sent trees toppling.

“The lightning just struck,” White said.

White said he was taking his daily walk when he saw the street cave in at North 22nd and U streets.

“I seen it all from Vietnam on up,” White told 8News. “But this was amazing!”

Workers arrived at the site of the sinkhole at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning to start making repairs that could take up to fifteen days to complete.

Sounds of loud machinery filled the air on Tuesday as crews worked diligently to repair the gaping hole. Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities tells 8News crews are repairing sewer lines, but aren’t sure what caused the hole at this time.

Steven Helm lives a block away from the sinkhole and stumbled upon it Sunday morning. He says there are bigger holes to fill in the neighborhood.

“This situation is a catalyst for things going on in the neighborhood for us,” Helm said. “I don’t like the fact that the city sees us as an ugly stepchild. There’s loitering, the trash, the times that we call 911 when we need police assistance, and we don’t get back up.”

Helm took 8News on a walk around the neighborhood and pointed out bumpy roads, unpaved alleys, litter on the ground, and a lack of storm drains and security cameras. He also says that he’s noticed a lack of action against crimes like trespassing, public intoxication or public urination.

Helm said although the neighborhood is still transitioning, he and his neighbors want better access to resources.

“We all want to live happily, quietly, without trash, without urinating in public, drunk in public,” Helm said. “We are trying to make it a better place.”

There’s a new neighborhood group that Helm started in Church Hill. Residents get together for community projects like picking up trash, block parties, and to discuss ways to improve the neighborhood. Helm says he and others have been meeting with Richmond City Council members to address their neighborhood concerns.

Repairs on the sinkhole will continue into Wednesday and the roadway is still closed until further notice.

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