Recent rains cause sinkhole near Austin Peay

Recent rains cause sinkhole near Austin Peay (Image 1)

The recent rainfall throughout Middle Tennessee has caused sinkholes to form in several places including one near Austin Peay State University in Clarksville.

The latest sinkhole appeared Monday on Ford Street.

Crews spent time excavating the scene Tuesday in an effort to determine whether the sinkhole was caused by a faulty drainage pipe, damage from recent construction or natural causes.

It has since been determined that a nearby sewer pipe is still intact and is not the cause.

Clarksville is not the only Middle Tennessee area to report sinkhole problems.

Last summer, a car was swallowed up in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn in Dickson.

Also last summer, a Fairview man found a sinkhole in his yard that was nine feet wide and 50 feet deep.

What causes sinkholes?

Some sinkholes are caused by broken water pipes, but for the most part, it is due to limestone.

Limestone rocks in Middle Tennessee dissolve more easily than many other rock types, and therefore tends to have plenty of cavities that are usually filled with water.

As water seeps down through the soil into those cavities, it carries the soil down with it. If enough soil sinks down, the earth collapses, creating the sinkhole.

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