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Work to Fill Giant Sinkhole Begins Thursday

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Crews with Des Moines Public Works have a big job ahead of them Thursday. They will begin work to fill in a giant sinkhole that appeared in the front lawn of a south side home Wednesday.

A neighbor first noticed the sinkhole at 4103 SW 5th St. after a row of hedge began disappearing into it early Wednesday morning. The hole then expanded and sucked in a 35-foot tree. Officials estimate the sinkhole is now 40 feet deep and 40 feet wide.

Public Works employees will begin the job by removing the tree, piece by piece, from the sinkhole. Then crews will put concrete at the bottom of the sinkhole and fill with rock, sand, and dirt. The materials will have to be compacted to make sure they are stable.

Chuck Burrell with Des Moines City Works says the process should take about two days. He also says there shouldn’t be any cost to the homeowner for the repairs. The city will pay the bulk of the cost and will also seek money from the federal and state agencies to pay for a portion.

The sinkhole is believed to have been caused by abandoned coal mines.

Google Map for coordinates 41.547019 by -93.620579.

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