West Knoxville sinkhole engulfs tree, threatens home

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- We've seen plenty of rain this season and it's caused problems in the area including sinkholes.

Late Thursday night a sinkhole appeared near the foundation of a home in Gettysvue; as daylight broke it revealed more damage than expected.

Luther Troutt from D&D Underground said "At the surface it just looks like a deep hole but when you get closer to it you can see there's nothing holding up the driveway. Everything's gone."

First Utility District was on site assessing possible damage done to their water lines.

Mark McKinney, Project Engineer at F.U.D said "We got called out here last night because some homes on this street were without water. We had to shut off the main line and dig numerous holes to fix the water lines."

While the sinkhole might not have caused the water damage; F.U.D wanted to take every precaution not cause more damage.

As of now, the sinkhole seems to have compromised the driveway but it could have an effect on the foundation of the home and surrounding structures. It could take some time to repair all the damage caused.

"The homeowners will have to get it filled in with rocks, concrete and dirt. There's no telling how much it will take to fill the hole or how big the hole extends." said Troutt

Since sinkholes are a possibility in Tennessee it's important to make sure you are covered. Regular homeowners insurance doesn't cover sinkholes; however in Tennessee insurance companies are required by law to offer sinkhole insurance.

The only catch-- you have to ask for the insurance but it's usually only about $30.00 a year.

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