NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches apartment maintenance worker immediately started walking the property, looking for any signs of the earthquake. He found one.
All sinkholes have to start somewhere. That's why Northway Landing Apartment maintenance man Steve Gaddy got concerned about this basketball-size hole he found after the earthquake.
"It goes back," Gaddy said. "I thought it was armadillos, but didn't see any scratch marks and saw that things were falling in. The dirt went somewhere."
Environmental Health Manager Tommy Wheeler came right out and confirmed a sinkhole was in the making.
"We need to mark off more than just this area because it's quite large," Wheeler said. "All the way out here. And if you set back and look the whole area right here is starting to sink."
Wheeler detected a larger depression that slipped by untrained eyes.
"It appears to be at least 3 to 6 foot deep and 8 foot in diameter," Wheeler said.
Engineers are reviewing development maps in search of old drainage ditches or even a well. Wheeler found a drain in an adjacent parking lot which could be the erosion source. Excessive rain may be an underlying cause, but the earthquake probably got things moving.
"There's definitely a cavern here," Wheeler said. "Looks like it's been developing for a long time. It's a good possibility the earthquake triggered the remainder of surface to sink."
Wheeler suggests everyone do as Gaddy did. Walk your property and look for anything out of the ordinary. What you find could help ward off a more serious problem.
Since the sinkhole is on private property it will probably be up to the management to see it's properly filled in.
Right now barriers are around the hole for the protection of residents living in the assisted living complex.