EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – A storm sewer failure following recent heavy rain is to blame for a massive sinkhole in an Eden Prairie neighborhood.
Public Works Director Robert Ellis said the storm sewer system collects drainage from the neighborhood near Burr Ridge Lane and routes it to Purgatory Creek.
"The storm sewer system actually failed, the pipe separated and it caused the water to start eroding away the side of the hill," Elllis said.
A 90-foot bluff was completely eroded, taking with it trees and damaging a nearby home while putting others at risk on Sunday.
"With the massive amount of rain we had, it just washed away that bluff, it's a very sandy type of a soil and in a matter of an hour, we lost a large portion of this bluff," said Ellis.
A nearby neighbor, Susan Felix, told KARE 11 that the storm sewer failed on Saturday and that an effort to maintain the bluff didn't work.
"Last night, it went from being just a small drop off area, all the way to our cul de sac (on Sunday)," said neighbor Susan Felix.
She said engineers rang her doorbell at 6 a.m. to notify nearby residents to evacuate.
The families from the two closest homes are still not allowed in their homes. Ellis said that they will have to wait until the situation has stabilized and a permanent solution is in place.
"We have some experience, we have soils like this in Eden Prairie. We have a lot of bluffs in this community. It's going to take a lot of manpower and a lot of materials," Ellis said.
"They've talked to us and they have some good plans in place," Felix said.
Ellis said the process includes adding a new sewer pipe system and filling in the hole. Long term, the Public Works Department will work to re-vegetate the area to stabilize it, which means they will need to get grasses growing and rooted into the side of the slope.