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Vanderburgh Co. residents left to fix backyard sinkholes on their own

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The city has been analyzing tests into sinkholes behind the Gibbs' family home on Grandview Drive in Vanderburgh County.

And it appears they will have to fix the problem themselves.

"It seems like the same reactions we've been getting the past few years. It just gets worse and worse. You make calls and nothing happens," homeowner Cory Gibbs said.

It's not the city's responsibility, or apparently, the county's.

"Our belief is that it's the storm sewer line because it's not our line," said Allen Mounts, director of the Evansville Water and Security. "The storm sewer line was never accepted for maintenance by the county."  

That leaves Nicole and Cory Gibbs to dig themselves out of the hole their backyard has put them in.

"I guess it is what it is. It's not right in my opinion though," Cory said. "I pay my taxes just like everybody else and for 5 years we've lived here, it's been nobody's problem but my own.

The storm sewer runs under a sanitary sewer line behind the Gibbs home. Where Mounts said workers ran tests on Wednesday with a robotic camera, but found no issues with city property.

"What we do know is that there is a storm sewer line below ours and by process of elimination, we believe it's the storm sewer line that is broken," Mounts said.  

But with no agreement with the county, the costly repairs are left to the Gibbs'. 

"It's very expensive work to go in and dig that out and replace a line. It's not cheap," Mounts said.  

"Put a small chain link fence up to keep the kids out of it and see if we can get the money raised up. See what happens and go from there. I don't know," Cory said.

Mounts said the family can appeal to county commissioners, but there is no guarantee they will help chip in.

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