Growing sinkhole threatening Bloomington home

Dr. Leonard Schultz and his wife live in a dream house with a nightmare in the backyard. This spring, after the snow melted, Dr. Schultz discovered a growing sinkhole about 10-15 feet from their backyard pool.

“I almost had a heart attack. Because there was a huge hole over there,” Dr. Schultz told Fox 9.

Schultz has lived in his house for more than two decades, buying the land for the home. The house is on a bluff overlooking the Minnesota River Valley.

Dr. Schultz called the city of Bloomington to check the sinkhole. He said the city worker blamed the sinkhole on water erosion.

“I joked with them. I said if this continues at the rate I see it happening, I’m going to be floating down the Mississippi on my way to New Orleans,” Dr. Schultz said. “Wave to me, I’ll wave back.”

The sinkhole appears to have origins on city-owned property down the bluff from the Schultz’s residence. About four years ago, a small crack emerged there, grew wider, and slowly crept toward the Schultz property. But the sinkhole did not appear until this spring.

“It’s now been three or four weeks. I still do not have anyone who has given us a definitive plan for restoration,” Dr. Schultz said. “We need one right away, we need one yesterday.”

A 2013 map provided by the Minnesota Geological Survey shows much of the bluffs in the Minnesota River Valley sit on a type of bedrock that can be susceptible to sinkholes.

There are 14,000 mapped sinkholes in Minnesota, according to Dr. E. Calvin Alexander Jr., a professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Geology and Geophysics. Of the 14,000 mapped statewide sinkholes, more than 10,000 of them are in Fillmore County. Olmsted County has the second most.

Currently, the Minnesota Geological Society is re-mapping Hennepin County.