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Massive Sinkhole Swallows Six Trees In Indiana Family's Yard

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A northwest Indiana couple finally convinced authorities to listen to their complaints about a sinkhole in their back yard, after it opened up over the weekend into a massive crater that swallowed six trees.

WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports Letitia Casto had a small sinkhole in her back yard for years, caused by a stormwater pipe under the ground. During a downpour over the weekend, that small hole turned into a gaping chasm.

"My husband stuck his head out, he said, 'You're not going to believe this, but the sinkhole just got bigger,'" she said. "It was like a river of water that was inside it, and it just kept washing away all of the soil."

Weekend Storms Turn Small Sinkhole Into Massive Crater

The water swirled around like a flooding toilet, according to Casto, and within a couple hours, it had grown to about 40 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet deep.

Six 25-year-old trees were swallowed by the giant hole, collapsing into it as the soil was washed away. The house is about 50 feet from the hole, so the Castos feared their house might have been next as they watched the sinkhole grow.

"You know what? I'm so glad that there was nobody, no news people here on Saturday, because I was a crazy woman," Casto said.

The property sits on the borders of Dyer, Munster, and Schererville. The three towns have agreed to come up with a permanent solution.

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