Couple Sues DOT, City Over Giant Sinkhole

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EAST POINT, Ga. — An East Point couple is suing the Georgia Department of Transportation and the City of East Point over a giant sinkhole.

Bennie and Betty Chambers said both the DOT and the city are responsible for the sinkhole, which they said swallowed up the driveway of their home on Catalina Drive.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Diana Davis first reported on the story nearly two years ago. Davis went back to survey the sinkhole on Monday, just days before the Chambers are due in court to battle the issue.

But storm runoff along the driveway of the Chambers’ home has undermined the concrete and caused a 3- to 4-foot deep trench that runs the length of the driveway. The chambers said their yard has become so dangerous they’re afraid to let their grandchildren visit for fear they could fall into the hole.

The Chambers said the problem started after Interstate 285, which adjoins their property, was widened. They said a culvert underneath the road funnels the run off into their yard and a much smaller pipe.

“They built that culvert and just dumped water down just like we weren’t here,” said Bennie Chambers.

When Davis first reported on the Chambers’ situation nearly two years ago, they hoped either the DOT or the city of East Point would take responsibility. They haven’t, according to the couple’s lawyer.”

“What’s happening here is wrong and I think the city knows it and the DOT knows it’s wrong and it seems like they want a court of law to decide what they need to do and when they need to do it,” said attorney Sam Stark.

The DOT said it has sovereign immunity and wants the lawsuit dismissed.

Stark said both the DOT and East Point should buy out the Chambers, make green space and fix the drainage, once and for all.

“One way or another, we’re going to get an answer to this problem which we believe is a problem created by the DOT and the city of East Point,” Stark said.

The Chambers’ case will be heard Wednesday in Fulton County Superior Court.

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