Storm drain failure leaves huge hole on Mud Island

Workers fill a large hole caused by a storm drain failure Mud Island.
Workers fill a large hole caused by a storm drain failure Mud Island.

The failure of a city storm drain this week on Mud Island sent tons of dirt into the Wolfe River.  The collapse left a huge hole at the end of Fleet Island Drive.

Resident Lawrence Jordan, who lives near the collapse, said he thought something was wrong weeks ago.

"I noticed it looked strange down there," he said. "It looked as if some soil was much more than I had used to see it."

Jordan noticed a nearby drain pipe was open, and looking down the hole, he saw nothing.  Memphis Public Works Director Jerry Collins said the pipe failed, but it isn't clear why.

"So far we've hauled 32 cubic feet of soil, which represents 200 truck loads," Collins said.  "We hope to finish with the project in about two weeks."

Neighbors said it isn't the first time rain and erosion caused problems.  Neighbor Mark Hollan, who lives nearby, said he lost part of his back yard nearly a year ago.  "Nobody warns you," Hollan said. "Nobody said a word about the issues or what.  You don't see it because you see the front of the houses."

Hollan said he has spent thousands of dollars installing french drains, dirt, and sod, which he hopes have solved the problem.

On Fleet Island Drive, workers tried hard to solidify the ground before expected rain Friday.  Collins said it was important to have the ground ready to minimize any effects from future rain.