Hole Lot of Trouble: Neighborhood left with giant hole in middle of street, posing safety hazard

(WSVN) - Homeowners on one South Florida street say they are being ignored, and it has left them with a “Hole Lot of Trouble.” The Nightteam’s Brian Entin explains.

For 20 years, Annette has called this house on 15th Avenue off of 79th Street home.

Annette Orelus, homeowner: “We don’t have any problems. Neighbors right here, we don’t have any problems with neighbors.”

The problem Annette is having is with this hole in front of her home.

It started with a tree left leaning by Hurricane Irma. The roots lifted the sidewalk.

Since the tree was on the swale, it was the county’s responsibility to remove it.

Annette Orelus: “They came and cut the tree down. When they finished cut the tree down, did the sidewalk, it was OK.”

After finally getting that problem fixed, another quickly emerged.

Just days later, a hole about 10 feet long, five feet deep and four feet wide appeared in the same spot as the tree.

Annette Orelus: “They came back. I don’t know if it’s the same person came back and dug the hole, and they started fixing some kind of wires. I came from work. I saw they were fixing wires. I didn’t ask any questions.”

But her neighbor Panitra did. She started asking the county why there was big hole in front of her house for more than a month.

Panitra Jackson, homeowner: “February had passed, and on March 7, I sent an initial email along with pictures, and I was just saying, ‘Listen, spring break is coming. There is only one lane of traffic. The sidewalk is closed. Pedestrians have to walk in the street. It’s a hazard.”

She received this unsigned email from the county which said, “I understand the hazard that the hole poses to the residents. I just revisited the neighborhood to see if the hole was covered, and it is not. I am redirecting the concerns to Public Works.”

Panitra Jackson: “I’m saying to myself, ‘Are they going to really do something about this?’ This is a hazard! It’s dangerous. It’s a potential lawsuit.”

7News also reached out to Miami-Dade County.

Turns out the hole was dug by a contractor hired by AT&T to do repair work.

Miami-Dade County cited the utility company, and the hole was filled.

Panitra Jackson: “I am ecstatic. I am happy. I am very satisfied.”

Grass now covers the area.

The neighbors say they are still frustrated it took 7News to get involved before they could get a solution to their problem.

Annette Orelus: “The county needs to listen to us more.”

Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.