Ayden neighborhood plagued by sink holes demands town take action

AYDEN, N.C. (WNCT) — One community in Ayden is angry after they say the town has ignored their requests to get sinkholes fixed around their homes.

In the Montclair Estates Neighborhood in Ayden, sinkholes are popping up all over the place.

Neighbors said the city has told them that some of the sinkholes aren’t even possible, has refused to check them out and has largely ignored their cries for help.

“About a year and a half ago, sink holes started popping up on the yards of this street and the streets behind us, and nothing is being done about it,” said Ann Holland, who lives in Montclair Estates.

She has lived in her neighborhood for three years and said she has spent half of that time worrying about sinkholes in her yard.

There are “six places that are sinking,” said Holland. “The one in my driveway is probably the most noticeable. It’s about a foot deep.”

She blames bad storm drainage ditches for the problems and said the city is putting her last on its list of priorities.

“It makes me angry,” said Holland. “I’m raising a child. My next door neighbor is raising two children (and) we have sinkholes happening.”

“An entire child can fall into those holes,” said Lillian Speight, another neighborhood resident. “I don’t let my children play outside at all.”

“Can’t play outside because we might fall in them, so we go to the rec and play there,” said Michael Honey, Speight’s son. “If they get filled up, we can play more basketball.”

Lillian Speight moved to the neighborhood with her two sons back in October.

“We moved from an apartment complex, you know, and I thought a home would be a better step,” said Speight. “A fenced in backyard would be a safe bet for them, but now I’ve kind of went backwards, so I feel like I let them down.”

The neighbors hope something will be done before someone gets hurt.

“Your home is your largest investment,” said Speight. “It’s your most expensive cost and to think that I have bought a house that is not resellable at this point and potentially has structural damage or could have structural damage because of the city’s negligence is just heartbreaking.”

The neighbors say they just want them to be fixed.

They said the town has only provided temporary fixes for the sinkholes that have been inspected. Those sinkholes were filled with sand, only to sink again.

No one with the town was available for an immediate comment.

The neighborhood has signed a petition and will be gathering outside the town hall next Monday to make their voices heard.

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