MINNEAPOLIS - The City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board are reaching out to residents around Lake Nokomis after a number of sinkholes and settled land have prompted complaints and concerns.
"There's a sinkhole that we pass every day by one of the drains, as well as right outside our house,” said Katy Hammel, who lives near the lake and walks the park grounds every day.
According to the Park Board, the issue stems from a combination of aging storm sewer infrastructure and over-saturated soil. The was a record amount of precipitation in 2016 and 2017 is also well above average. The ground can’t hold any more water and it has stressed some of the underground storm sewer pipes to the point of failure.
"For us, it's concerning with our dog and letting our dog out as well as strolling with the baby,” Hammel said. “We want to make sure that it's a safe space for our family."
The Park Board is concerned too, which is why they're holding off on mowing park areas that are sinking and settling. Though many of the sinkholes are relatively small on the surface, the city and the board are hoping to work with neighbors to identify trouble spots and begin monitoring the area for future problems.
"That's really good to hear,” Hammel said. “My husband and I were actually just talking, since noticing the changes, like where do we go next?”
If you know of a sinkhole in your neighborhood, you are encouraged to report it by calling 311.
According to the Park Board, recent groundwater pumping and flooding issues at Hiawatha Golf Course are not connected to the ground saturation and sinkholes at Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park.