White Cottage Sinkhole Update

by Josh Overholser on June 6, 2014 at 9:40 am

A White Cottage home about to be swallowed by a half acre sinkhole was moved to safer ground Friday.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources received permission from Michael Lane, the son of the property owner, to go in and have the home relocated. According to Muskingum County Emergency Management Agency Director Bo Keck, Lane and his family are staying in a Zanesville hotel right now funded by the Red Cross and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources until a long term solution to the sinkhole problem can be determined.

"Natural Resources is working on that," Keck said.  "A lot of people in Columbus, attorneys and so forth, are involved now. They’re working on the long term as far as where the families would go long term. And then the next thing they’re working on is how they secure this whole 300 and some acres to try to keep people out of it because,obviously, it’s not safe down here."

Keck said the sinkholes are caused by an underground limestone mine from years ago that is now starting to collapse. They’ve even had to shut off a part of the Avondale Wildlife Area that was over the old mine. While it’s been a concern for sometime, Keck said the problem continues to get worse.

"In the wooded area back in behind me and so forth, I mean I wouldn’t even walk back through there because you could run across a sinkhole or it could just drop out from under you everyplace."

Keck said there are five other families living in the area affected by the sinkhole. All were advised to leave and offered rooms in area hotels, but they all declined.