South Memphis neighbors upset about growing cavity in parking lot

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A South Memphis neighborhood is trying to get help after growing concerns about a hole in the ground.

It’s been in the New Harvest Missionary Baptist Church's parking lot on Warren Street for years, but church members say it’s starting to sink even more.

“It’s kind of huge," said Irma Tabor. "If you couldn’t see this and they drive their car up on this lot, it’ll tear all your oil panes and up under the car loose.”

She said neighbors first noticed it about five years ago, but it wasn’t brought to her attention until recently.

“And I said, 'Oh my God, we’ve got to do something here. It’s dangerous.'”

A fence stands around it in the meantime, but church members said their parking lot gets smaller as the damage grows.

Tabor said lately, it’s gotten worse -- spreading to a neighbor’s yard and toward the street.

“It’s going to soon get big enough to suck these houses and things down.”

She said she called the city but hasn’t been met with many answers, except she’s hearing it could be related to drainage on the other side of the hill.

“Oh, this is dangerous out here," said Heather Reynolds. "Some kids can come out here and you don’t know when it’s going to really sink and there goes our kids.”

On Thursday, the city released the following statement:

"No structural defects were found in the pipeline. After examining both the GIS and submitted drainage site plans, Drain Maintenance has determined that there is no storm drain problem. 
The citizen’s concern about the parking lot is a surface grading issue, which is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain and not the responsibility of the City of Memphis Public Works or Drain Maintenance Department. Property owner was notified."

Whatever it is, community members want to see it gone.

“I’m hoping that someone will come out here and do something," said Reynolds.