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The Mystery of the Holes in Susquehanna County

LENOX TOWNSHIP — One home in Susquehanna County has signs warning people to stay off the property. The homeowner says the signs are not just warning tresp...
susq sinkhole

LENOX TOWNSHIP -- One home in Susquehanna County has signs warning people to stay off the property. The homeowner says the signs are not just warning trespassers.

"This is what my granddaughter found. It was just a small hole like this and that's what it turned into," Sheila Petrochko said.

Finding holes on this Lenox Township property near Kingsley has become a regular occurrence lately for Petrochko.

"I walk through my yard and I'm finding more holes everyday," Petrochko added.

She also thinks her yard is starting to sink. "Is my ground going to open up? Am I going to fall into a hole? Are my grandchildren? That's what I'm concerned about," she said.

In her 10 years living here, Petrochko said there have never been any holes.

"Nothing new has happened in the area besides a well that Cabot drilled and they finished about a month and a half ago," Petrochko said.

According to a Pennsylvania DEP spokesperson, there have been no other complaints about possible sinkholes in this part of Susquehanna County.

Late this afternoon, a DEP inspector ruled out natural gas drilling as the cause. State officials believe the holes were caused by natural subsidence.

The state isn't exactly sure what naturally caused the holes to form.

Cabot Oil & Gas pointed out its gas well is about a mile from the homeowner's property.

The gas company said they are not responsible for the holes in Petrochko's yard. Lenox Township Supervisor Fred Benson agrees.

"I just think it's a settlement. It ain't got nothing to do with the gas from my estimation," Benson said.

Petrochko said she just wants to know why the holes keep popping up.

"I feel like I'm yelling and screaming. I would like to find out what happened and why and how we are going to fix it," she said.

A spokesperson for DEP said that an inspector placed meters in the holes. It determined that there was no natural gas present in the areas where the holes have formed.

A DEP spokesperson added that natural subsidence can be caused from rain or even the type of fill someone has in their driveway.