Maryland Family Fears Sinkhole Threatens Their Home

A Maryland family doesn’t feel safe because of a growing sinkhole in what used to be their backyard.

The Debnams have owned the home on October Court in Derwood for 40 years. Now it’s showing signs of cracking.

Mark Debnam fears his parents’ house is about to he swallowed up by the giant sinkhole. He said the growing crater is now within 10 to 12 feet of the house.

"The situation here is extremely dangerous,” he said. “As it gets closer and closer to the house, the house will lose its stability and start to move into the ground."

He believes a Montgomery County Department of Transportation stormwater drain is responsible. He said video taken by a robot shows the underground pipe is breached and broken, letting in hundreds of gallons of water daily and causing the sinkhole.

Representatives from the department have looked at it and said nothing’s wrong with the pipe, Debnam said.

“I think that at least for the last three months, it has been a living nightmare,” said his mother, Jane Debnam. “A living nightmare for both of us because we’re so afraid that the house is going to eventually drop while we are sleeping in our bed and we will have nothing.”


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The growing sinkhole now makes the home uninsurable.

The Maryland Department of the Environment is aware of the homeowners’ concerns about the sinkhole and the stormwater drain and sent a representative to investigate. They are reviewing the situation but haven’t drawn a conclusion.

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