Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Homes evacuated in Texas as ground shifts below (San Antonio)
AP on Yahoo ^ | 1/25/10 | AP

Posted on 01/25/2010 10:22:53 AM PST by NormsRevenge

SAN ANTONIO – Dozens of homes were evacuated in San Antonio after the ground below began shifting, creating crevices up to 15 feet deep and nearly splitting a nearby retaining wall in half, officials said.

About 80 homes were first evacuated on Sunday after residents in a northwest side subdivision reported that the ground was caving behind several houses. No one was injured.

The large crack in the retaining wall sent soil tumbling out below. Fences were tossed askew and crumpled like accordions, and aerial photos showed land had given way near the foundations of several homes.

Engineers at the scene Monday were trying to determine why the ground was shifting and how much damage it could cause.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: sanantonio; sinkhole; texas
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-74 next last

1 posted on 01/25/2010 10:22:55 AM PST by NormsRevenge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

http://www.kens5.com/home/Massive-sinkhole-forces-20-families-from-their-NW-side-homes-82559657.html


2 posted on 01/25/2010 10:24:23 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Chuck DeVore - CA Senator. Believe.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Slideshow KENS5


3 posted on 01/25/2010 10:25:30 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard .. Chuck DeVore - CA Senator. Believe.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

***The homes were in a new subdivision...***

I wonder if those homes were built over an existing excavation of mines.


4 posted on 01/25/2010 10:29:32 AM PST by kitkat (Obama hates us. Well, maybe a LOT of Kenyans do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
I'm not a tin foiled hatter, yet this and Haiti make one pause and think of Armageddon.
5 posted on 01/25/2010 10:29:36 AM PST by Mengerian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kitkat

Probably build atop limestone, and a sinkhole is forming.


6 posted on 01/25/2010 10:30:12 AM PST by dirtboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Vor Lady

I guess we have a few too many movers & shakers here...


7 posted on 01/25/2010 10:30:24 AM PST by LongElegantLegs (Raise the fanged and warlike mistress, stern, impassive, weaponed mistress...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mengerian
I'm not a tin foiled hatter, yet this and Haiti make one pause and think of Armageddon.

No, Haiti was a natural geological process and this was probably as well, I know there is a lot of limestone in the Austin area and that probably extends down to San Antonio as well. Limestone forms caves, and when a cave gets too close to the surface, you get sinkholes.

8 posted on 01/25/2010 10:31:49 AM PST by dirtboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

I’m losing confidence that votes like this aren’t contingent on bundles of cash exchanging hands. More likely i’m just too naive to have ever believed they did without it. Whores all.

We need to hold down the D.C. power button for 10 seconds and listen for the “tong”.


9 posted on 01/25/2010 10:31:57 AM PST by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Looks like house sites are on alluvial fill, too close to the retreating scarp. I doubt that there is a fix for this.


10 posted on 01/25/2010 10:32:24 AM PST by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Lots of underground caves/caverns/rivers in that part of Texas. Could just be from an underground cave in.


11 posted on 01/25/2010 10:32:42 AM PST by DogBarkTree
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

We’ve had sinkholes opening up in the Tampa Bay area recently. Quite a few along highways. Those photos make it look more like the retaining wall is giving way, and the buildings are sliding...not what we, in Florida, typically see when a sinkhole opens up (probably because everything’s so flat here, it just looks like a hole in the ground.)


12 posted on 01/25/2010 10:33:19 AM PST by dawn53
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
That part of Texas is an old sea bed filled with lime stone caves.
13 posted on 01/25/2010 10:36:47 AM PST by kempo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus
Civil engineer or geologist? I’ve never heard those terms before.
14 posted on 01/25/2010 10:38:07 AM PST by Mengerian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: dirtboy

Bingo. Seems they ought to do a geophysical survey before building in areas of limestone.


15 posted on 01/25/2010 10:50:25 AM PST by HerrBlucher (Jail Al Gore and the Climate Frauds!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Mengerian
EASY, EASY, EASY...sounds like a geologist with those subsurface descriptions, never mention Engineer and Geologist in the same breath - someone can and often does get offended!...my bet is a geologist
16 posted on 01/25/2010 10:51:48 AM PST by BA63
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: BA63

He is probably an Engineering Geologist.


17 posted on 01/25/2010 10:53:52 AM PST by HerrBlucher (Jail Al Gore and the Climate Frauds!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: kitkat

or a previous land fill or dump, something that deteriorates ...

How scary for them.


18 posted on 01/25/2010 10:54:32 AM PST by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus
Looks like house sites are on alluvial fill, too close to the retreating scarp

The aerial shot (Birdseye View) on Bing.com/maps, shows that you are correct. The shot looking east shows that not only were the houses built on fill, there was cut right about where the failure occurred. The cut appears to have been to allow the construction equipment access to both the top and bottom of the slope. Quite likely they didn't properly fill and compact it. (Some of the shots from other directions show the houses already built, some of them anyway, but the one I'm thinking of shows the site prep in progress, but no houses right there.

19 posted on 01/25/2010 10:56:59 AM PST by El Gato ("The second amendment is the reset button of the US constitution"-Doug McKay)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: geologist

Sacred Indian Burial Ground (and not covered by homeowner’s insurance).


20 posted on 01/25/2010 10:57:15 AM PST by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: BA63

I just get a kick out of the technical terms “alluvial fill” and “retreating scarp!”


21 posted on 01/25/2010 10:57:17 AM PST by Mengerian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Mengerian
Geologist. Alluvium is just water laid sediment; it typically fills topographic basins in arid climates. Sometimes, ground water is pumped from alluvium, compacting the deposit and causing settling (subsidence). When that happens, cracks can develop in the overlying alluvial fill, usually over buried outcrops and ledges.

All scarps erode back or "retreat." If you build on a deposit near one, you better be sure that the rates of scarp retreat are longer than human lifespans.

22 posted on 01/25/2010 10:58:32 AM PST by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus
you better be sure that the rates of scarp retreat are longer than human lifespans.

The World According to Scarp.

23 posted on 01/25/2010 11:01:12 AM PST by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Holy Cow! Those are some pretty tall ‘retaining walls’.

I’ve seen many developments like this ... the developers find it easier to do monumental terracing in order to build their cookie-cutter desig slab-on-grade houses (designed for flat lots) than to work with the natural terrain and build homes actually designed for non-flat lots.

Looks like the plan is not working out so well.


24 posted on 01/25/2010 11:01:15 AM PST by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus

It is always good to learn something new everyday!

Must be an intriguing profession. I genuinely appreciate the interesting facts.


25 posted on 01/25/2010 11:02:53 AM PST by Mengerian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Mengerian
Civil engineer or geologist? I’ve never heard those terms before.

What he said was they were built on dirt that was hauled in. That is why there is a retaining wall that "is supposed" to keep the alluvial fill (dirt) from slumping down the hill.

Now the short version:

Bad construction and engineering.

26 posted on 01/25/2010 11:02:55 AM PST by cpdiii (roughneck, oilfield trash and proud of it, geologist, pilot, pharmacist, iconoclast.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: cpdiii

“Value engineering” is probably closer to the truth.


27 posted on 01/25/2010 11:03:59 AM PST by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: HerrBlucher
He is probably an Engineering Geologist.

Talk about internal conflict. Like a dog that's a Chow/Lab mix. Doesn't know whether to lick you to death or rip your face off.

28 posted on 01/25/2010 11:07:16 AM PST by CholeraJoe (Deja Moo - The feeling that you have heard this BS before.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: kitkat

No, not any underground mines in San Antonio - We are on top of old limestone here, and all quarries are open pit.

Fiesta Texas, for example, is built inside an old gravel pit.


29 posted on 01/25/2010 11:07:25 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: All

Good old San Antonio again. A few years ago in another subdivision home foundations were cracking a emitting fumes from an old dump they built the development over.


30 posted on 01/25/2010 11:07:51 AM PST by securityman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: dirtboy

You’re all mistaken, when they checked with o-bow-man he said it was all Bush’s fault.

There that mystery is solved by the chosen one.


31 posted on 01/25/2010 11:07:59 AM PST by chiefqc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: cpdiii
What he said was they were built on dirt that was hauled in.

It may not have been hauled in -- they could have just used a bulldozer to sculpt out house sites without doing a thorough geological study. I'm sensing big-time lawsuits a'comin'

Bad construction and engineering.

Spot on.

32 posted on 01/25/2010 11:08:05 AM PST by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

33 posted on 01/25/2010 11:10:05 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

I think I caused it when I buried my life savings in the backyard where the interest rate happens to be higher than at the bank. I just didn’t expect such a small hole to cause such a big problem.


34 posted on 01/25/2010 11:13:21 AM PST by cajuncow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne

That retaining wall appears to be about 20 feet tall. If the fill was not properly compacted and becomes wet with rain it will behave like a very thick fluid. Assuming the specific gravity of the fill is 2.0 you could easily have 25 psi at the bottom of the retaining wall pushing out. That would mean a force of over 3000 lbs on each square foot.


35 posted on 01/25/2010 11:13:28 AM PST by cpdiii (roughneck, oilfield trash and proud of it, geologist, pilot, pharmacist, iconoclast.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Mengerian
I agree (I learn everyday too), I work with and around Engineers and Geologists everyday and have done so for the last 20+ years. He is correct on his descriptions and I for one would agree with his opinion on what is happening to cause this. In Florida, we call this a sinkhole, athough you'd be hardpressed to find anything considered alluvial here! And yes sometimes, we can cause these things to happen.

Can't help but notice what looks like a residential development of some sort in the picture?

36 posted on 01/25/2010 11:20:58 AM PST by BA63
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus

Looking a couple of photos and this description it appears the slope of the hill is moving downward. Sounds like poor planning/etc in the developmental stages.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/Sinkhole_prompts_evacuation_on_Northwest_Side.html
Authorities evacuated about 80 homes in a Northwest Side neighborhood Sunday when ground caved in behind several houses, pushing earth down a 30-foot hill and into two retaining walls that cracked and threatened residences below.

No one was injured, and agencies acted quickly to address the endangered homes near West Hausman Road and Loop 1604.

Describing the collapse as a “slope failure,” authorities at a Sunday night meeting told residents from The Hills at Rivermist subdivision that in some areas the crevices grew to 12 to 15 feet deep and 6 to 8 feet wide. But they didn’t know the cause.
end snip

a home vid but very shaky shows the slope;

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/4200736

A better view showing the area and homes: Note Oak Water that is where some of them were supposedly: Note retaining walls.

http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/#5003/0.6002=q:ranchwell+cove,+san+antonio,+tx:lat:32.7886733981194:long:-79.986000061:nosp:0:adj:0&o=&a=0&p=c/5872/style=be&lat=nxsbr9&lon=6sc8vn&alt=262.80011&z=19&h=98.09854&pid=5874


37 posted on 01/25/2010 11:28:36 AM PST by deport (36 DAYS UNTIL THE TEXAS PRIMARY....... MARCH 2, 2010)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: HerrBlucher

or a Geoengineologist


38 posted on 01/25/2010 11:28:47 AM PST by Pajama Blogger (Pajama Power)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Mengerian

Not even close dude, in Armageddon Bruce Willis and a crew of misfits had to blow up a huge asteroid before it hit Earth. This is a lot more like Earthquake, where Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner try to survive after a huge earthquake hits Los Angeles.


39 posted on 01/25/2010 11:51:19 AM PST by DCBurgess58 (In a Capitalist society, men exploit other men. In a Communist society it's exactly the opposite.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard

I feel that I was denied CRITICAL, Need-to-Know Information.


40 posted on 01/25/2010 11:51:19 AM PST by VRWCmember
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Mengerian

I saw someone talking about The Phil Schneider Story on the blogs this morning, first time I ever read something like that. Yegads and little fishes!!!


41 posted on 01/25/2010 11:51:55 AM PST by kiltie65
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
The incident happened exactly one week after a builder's warranty expired on Sara and Alfred Koenig's first home, in the 11900 block of Oak Water.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/82553087.html

42 posted on 01/25/2010 11:53:00 AM PST by Between the Lines (AreYouWhoYouSayYouAre?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

Broke into the wrong G@# D$%& Rec-Room, didn’t it?


43 posted on 01/25/2010 11:59:43 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge
San Antonio largely sits over the Edwards Aquifer, a large underground water reservoir. Austin and San Antonio get much of their water from this source. Scientists have been saying that the rapid growth of these cities will drain the Aquifer. Perhaps this has something to do with these ground faults?
44 posted on 01/25/2010 12:00:22 PM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArrogantBustard

Yes, but if you have just a few common household chemicals, in the proper proportions, you can take care of it.


45 posted on 01/25/2010 12:04:29 PM PST by VRWCmember
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Republic of Texas
Perhaps this has something to do with these ground faults?

All parties involved will be claiming "it's not my dam fault".

46 posted on 01/25/2010 12:06:14 PM PST by VRWCmember
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Pedant that I am, it’s obvious that the caption on this thread was written by one of the lefties at AP.

If the ground DID NOT shift BELOW these homes, they must have been CAVES.

Then again, since the left has turned the world upside down, the earth in some place is actually ABOVE these homes.


47 posted on 01/25/2010 12:20:54 PM PST by Dick Bachert (THE 2010 ELECTIONS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT IN OUR LIFETIMES! BE THERE!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Satan trying to escape hell to get away from Teddy Kennedy?

(with due regards to previous thread)


48 posted on 01/25/2010 12:32:07 PM PST by njslim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DCBurgess58

LOL. At least it’s not “Dante’s Peak” or “Avalanche!”


49 posted on 01/25/2010 12:36:56 PM PST by Mengerian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge; All
This occurred about five miles from where I live.

The Crownridge area of San Antonio is across the northern rim of the city (hence the name 'Crownridge") and is where the Texas Hill Country starts building up from the Coastal Plain. Although the area is very rocky, it is not necessarily stable.

Typical subdivision construction in these areas involves excavating a hillside to create a level building site, exposing bare rock outcroppings on the hillside. These exposed hillsides are often covered with a stone veneer wall or a commercial product such as Pavestone blocks.

The assumption on the part of the builders is that the rock substrate is stable enough to support itself and everything built on top of it. The 'retaining walls' described in this story have no structural purpose at all - they are used to simply provide a more attractive view of what would otherwise be an exposed hillside.

As others on this thread have noted, this area is rife with limestone which is a rather soft and porous rock. While there are caves up towards Austin, I do not believe there are any underground caves or caverns in Bexar County.

50 posted on 01/25/2010 12:38:32 PM PST by TexasNative2000 (This seems like fairly decisive evidence that the dream can, in fact, die.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-74 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson