No word on what caused hole beneath Henrico County condo

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

debgoonan@icloud.com

 

A few weeks ago, a mysterious sinkhole opened up under the home of a family living at Westshire on Parham Condo, near Richmond, VA.

Homeowners Alesia and Derek Williams, and their 12-year-old daughter, had to leave their home shortly after Henrico County deemed the building unsafe.

The family stayed in a hotel for about a week. During that time, the HOA hired contractors to prop up the foundation to prevent the building from collapsing. That satisfied County officials, who then informed the Williams family they could move back home.

However, the condo owners are still waiting for a copy of the engineer’s report on the sinkhole. The Williams need to submit a copy of the report with their insurance claim. It’s the only way they can be reimbursed for the cost of interior repairs, as well as their hotel bill.

 

Records request denied

Alex Thorson of 8 News says Henrico County denied his open records request for that engineer’s report. The County says the building is currently under investigation.

The entire bureaucratic process leaves the Williams family completely in the dark about what caused the sinkhole to open up. They’re still uneasy about their safety, and want to know exactly when the condo’s foundation will be fully repaired.

The homeowners were initially told the hole was caused by a “drainage problem,” but haven’t been able to verify that information.

Henrico County has a history of sinkholes. Earlier this year, WTVR 6 covered the story of a homeowner in Wistar Woods Place with a hole in the back yard of his one-year-old home. The same news station also featured a 73-year old woman concerned about a deep sinkhole just feet away from her oil tank.

And in spring of 2017, Henrico County closed its baseball field after a sinkhole opened up near second base, according to a report on WRIC.

 

No transparency

The Williams family’s experience with their condo HOA is not uncommon. As usual, no one will tell them what’s causing the sinkhole, and how long it will take to repair the damage.

As was the case with other news reports about sinkholes in Henrico County, there’s no media follow up on the status of repairs. It’s unclear what, if anything, Henrico County will do to make certain that Westshire on Parham condo association makes the proper repairs. ♦

 

Sources:

Henrico family staying in hotel while awaiting answers on unexplained hole found beneath condo
by: Alex Thorson | WRIC8 News
Posted: Aug 15, 2019 / 08:11 PM EDT/ Updated: Aug 15, 2019 / 08:35 PM EDT

Henrico investigates condo building after massive hole raises safety concerns
by: Alex | WRIC8 News
Posted: Aug 21, 2019 / 08:21 PM EDT/ Updated: Aug 21, 2019 / 08:54 PM EDT