Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Little Hole

Today I veer off my usual knitting path to bring you the weird ass hole in my street. In Minnesota where our streets are subject to extremes of heat and cold, it's hard to keep them in one piece. We noticed a little hole at the end of our driveway last week. My husband looked down the hole and thought it was unusually deep. Being a guy, he immediately went to the garage, retrieved a long-handled garden implement and stuck it down the hole. "Wow, its gotta be three feet deep", he tells me. End of story. Oh no, just the beginning.

Our garage is a wreck. We throw things out there all winter long until finally about March we can barely maneuver through the garage to get into the house. It's actually a great security system as no one could possibly enter our house through the garage from November to May. Every spring, just as the junk threatens to creep into the house, my husband orders a small dumpster and starts spring garage cleaning.

Yesterday was dumpster delivery day. When the dumpster guys drove over the small hole, it became a larger small hole. When my husband arrived home yesterday afternoon, he (being on hole watch, he's a guy after all) immediately noticed the change and called the City.

My husband: "Yeah there is a really deep hole at the end of my driveway"

City: "What do you expect us to do about it?"

My husband: "Not ON my driveway, at the end of the driveway in your street"

City: "Well, we are still pretty busy fixing things after the storm"
(Note: the storm they are referring to happened on September 21, 2005!)

My husband: "It really deep, like a sink hole or something and you are going to end up having a mail truck go through the street soon."

City: "We'll look at it tomorrow"

My husband stuck a long ice chopper thing down the hole and put a small orange cone on top so that it would be driven over before the City could come out and assess. This morning as I'm getting ready for work I see a City truck pull up. A guy wearing khaki's and a dress shirt looks down the hole, pokes it, goes back to his truck pulls out some big orange cones, places the cones around the hole and leaves.

This was not the solution we were thinking of. But wait! 10 minutes later a big backhoe pulls up in front of my house. The guy parks the backhoe, and LEAVES!

I leave for work. When my husband comes home they have used the backhoe to turn the small but deep hole into a really big hole. Turns out they found an old pipe that runs through the street, under our yard, and who knows where. They attempted to find out where by running a camera through the pipe to see if it's connected to anything. We don't know what they found out but we do know that they believe it may run (insert eerie music here) under my house. This cannot be good. Not good at all.

They found this urgent enough to do today. To call the utility marker guy to come out and paint the street and my yard (right up to my front door) multiple colors to mark all the different buried lines. We have flashing stuff at the end of the driveway. I expect the men in hazmat suits to arrive soon. This will be a lovely greeting for my parents when they arrive from South Dakota tomorrow.


Tam said...

Oh, yay. What fun you're having! (not) If your utility marker people are similar to the ones in Indiana then I suggest you learn to love big, big holes in front of your house. When we got ourselves hooked up to the sewer system, a four person team came out to mark the utilities. After about 2 hours, for which we were CHARGED they put some marks on the street and left. Well, the utility lines were NOWHERE NEAR where they marked. Ditto for the sewer hookup. The sanitation guy had to dig up about 6 feet of asphalt driveway to find them. Who paid them to do this? Me. Who pays to have all that repaved? You guessed it. I am very afraid on your behalf about that pipe running under your house. God help you and I hope you don't end up with a big hole ALL THE WAY ACROSS YOUR YARD. argh.

Kate said...

What may actually save me is the City was the developer on my housing development. They tore down a bunch of old houses 6 years ago and built new ones. If they screwed this up, they'll be on the hook. I hope! Keep your fingers crossed!

sydney said...

Oh, this does not sound like fun. Good luck with all of this.

trek said...

How bizzare!

Katie said...

Uh oh.

Kelly said...

That is the city for you. No problem is every simple.

Knittymama said...

That's the city..always entertaining, but in not such a good way! :-)

Chris said...

Ohmigod. Keep updating us regularly, so we know all is well!! How weird.

Anonymous said...


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Good luck with the hole!

Your SP8 Pal