HOUSTON — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued an apology Wednesday to residents of Acres Homes after a hole he says was first reported seven months ago had gotten much, much bigger.
Residents said the hole had grown larger since it formed earlier this year, though Houston Public Works representatives initially said the first call they received about it was earlier this month.
Mayor Turner told us Wednesday that he asked Public Works to go back and find out when the first call really did come in.
“Come to find out, the 311 call did come in in July; July 21, and the inspector went out, took a picture of it. It was much, much smaller then,” said Turner. “Apparently from July until this moment, not much activity took place out there at all.”
As of Tuesday, the hole was around 16 feet across and 8 to 10 feet deep.
“Let me apologize to the people out there in Acres Homes, especially on Paul Quinn (Street)," he said. "We dropped the ball. And it is a priority, so we’re assessing it, and when it was much, much smaller, we should have taken action on it. With no action taken on it, it just got bigger and bigger and bigger.”
The original Facebook post alerting us to the hole suggested that if it had formed in a different neighborhood, like River Oaks or the Heights, it would have been taken care of much more quickly.
Mayor Turner disputed those claims.
“I’m from Acres Homes. I still live in Acres Homes,” he said. “There are times when you just drop the ball and that’s why I wanted to get the report.”
As for the timeline on fixing it, that depends on exactly what is causing the hole to keep getting bigger. Crews were out Tuesday to do more testing and get new video. That's all going back to the wastewater team to find out what needs to be done.
We’ll keep you posted.