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Jim Wells County woman worries about massive hole in backyard

Posted at 7:19 PM, Jul 09, 2024

  • Maria Ramirez is fearful and concerned about a massive hole in her backyard.
  • The hole began after a trench was dug to bury a waterline. The trench was never compacted.
  • Now, the hole is massive and Ramirez has tried to fill with debris.
  • Commissioner Margie Gonzalez said the county will try to help but the hole is on private property.

There is a growing hole creating fear for one elderly Jim Wells County resident.

Maria Ramirez has lived on her property for several decades. Several years ago, a hole was dug for a waterline, but - over time - this hole grew to a massive pit in Ramirez’s backyard.


Ramirez’s family had placed a mobile home on the property and a trench was dug for a water line, but that trench was never compacted leaving behind a path to the back yard.

“Throughout the years we’ve gotten this trench hole. And the reason is that we’ve gotten all the waters from that have come into the property,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez said people blame her for the massive hole.

“It started to fall and fall and fall. We asked for help and we’ve never gotten any help from anybody. They have come. A lot of people have come to look at it, but they can’t do nothing about it,” she said.

The 78-year-old woman said the foreman for Commissioner Precinct 1 told her to fill it with tires. And so, she’s been filling it with everything possible like lumber, tires, and furniture. But nothing helps.

JWC Precinct 1 Commissioner Margie Gonzalez said Ramirez’s allegation isn’t true. That the foreman wouldn’t have told Ramirez to do that because it wouldn’t have fixed the issue.

Gonzalez and her crew have been out to the property before. The commissioner says it’s on a private private.

“It’s getting to the point where we can’t even fix it because it’s as deep as that pit,” Gonzalez said.

The pit Gonzalez is talking about is nearly 38-acres behind Ramirez’s property. It was dug to provide dirt for a highway project by the state.

Every time it rains, the massive hole gets larger and has taken down a telephone pole and the fence separating properties is no longer in the ground.

“The damage that has been done in her property we really can’t reverse it. Because - as you can see - it’s already as deep as the pit. I will see if we can take some dirt and cover up that swell on her property,” Gonzalez said.

The commissioner said the county received a grant and in the next year or so, they will be putting some work into the street Ramirez lives on. The work will include drainage and a six-acre retention pond

“ (However), it’s probably going to continue eroding and take up the property,” Gonzalez said.

County officials said while this issue on the private property and try to help Maria Ramirez.

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