Sinkholes forming after recent frequent rain - WSMV Channel 4

Sinkholes forming after recent frequent rain

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

With all the recent rain, several Middle Tennessee communities have been dealing with a major sinkhole problem, and a lot of them are forming in some inconvenient places.

The latest sinkhole opened up this week in a Williamson County recreation area, forcing officials to close some playing fields until they could make sure everything was safe.

Most of the Williamson County Parks and Recreation complex is now back open, except for one area off Mack Hatcher Parkway that remains roped off near a sinkhole.

"I saw on the news all the sinkholes in Florida and the other areas. I didn't know we had them here," said park visitor Ray Willhite.

Workers noticed a depression in the ground a few days ago.

"We notified the state of the condition and have applied for the permit to fix it," said Kerri Hudson, spokeswoman for Williamson County Parks and Recreation.

If it seems like we've had a lot of sinkholes this spring, you're right.

In March, a massive sinkhole opened up in a yard of a home in Franklin's Cottonwood community.

A month later, there was a second sinkhole on the opposite side of the street.

Then, a 10-foot-deep sinkhole caused problems for drivers on McGavock Pike in Nashville, and in Clarksville a massive sinkhole opened up in the middle of Purple Heart Parkway.

Civil engineer Chad Collier said the limestone rock in our area has crevices in it, which allows for underground erosion.

When the erosion finds its way to the surface, it becomes a sinkhole.

Rain only makes it worse.

Collier said the topography in Middle Tennessee with rock underneath the surface ensures there will likely not be any of the catastrophic sinkholes that have made national news lately.

Williamson County expects its sinkhole will be filled with dirt, rock and gravel.

"So we're just going to take care of the situation that needs to be addressed and get it back up and functioning as soon as we can," Hudson said.

The engineer said this erosion process happens every day, all day, but it is not until we see the ground sink that we actually see the effects.

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