Archives for: August 2006

08/14/06

Permalink 10:26:48 pm, Categories: Urban Exploration, 1184 words   English (US)

nixa sinkhole

Hiccup and I drove out to see the new sinkhole in Nixa, Missouri today, and I managed to score the ONLY footage of a house falling into it--which I promptly sold to KY3.

You can see the video here:

Low-res video (277 KB)
High-res video (1.24 MB)

First thing this morning, I logged on to the site and saw a post from Brouser. Apparently, a new sinkhole had opened up inside the Nixa city limits, right underneath a guy's house. It had swallowed his car and left half of his house dangling over thin air. This, I decided, I had to see.

When we got there, they had a huge area around the sinkhole cordoned off with police tape. I had had the idea that we might be able to get close to it with the sinkhole only being a day old, but we were sadly mistaken. We could see police guarding the sinkhole from at least two sides. We followed the crowd around to where a couple dozen people or so were standing next to the police tape.

It was hard to see much of the actual sinkhole, because they had us back so far from it, but it was still impressive. The sinkhole was about half the size of a basketball court and had erupted under the side of the house at the end of the driveway. The owner's car was actually at the bottom, although it was impossible to see it. There was nothing supporting the half of the house over the sinkhole, and it looked ready to fall in at any moment. I joked that it would be awesome if we were lucky enough to be there when the house actually fell in.

Hiccup and I took a few pictures and video, but it was hard to get good shots for the orange barricade and being so far back. Some EMS guys and policemen were walking around inside the tape, and I asked one if I could come across and take a couple pictures. He said no, so I asked if he could take a couple for me. Again, he said no. I guess I couldn't blame him. He's probably going to have people asking that all the time.

We walked around to the other side of the sinkhole to see if we could get a better view. Unfortunately, the police tape was even farther back from the sinkhole there and it was harder to see. I thought about asking the two cops there the same question I'd asked the other officials, but I decided not to bother.

We went back around and stood with the other people again. Michelle Sherwood from KY3 was there and was chatting with a few of the people. We were debating on leaving, but they were getting ready to put a firetruck ladder over the sinkhole to take some measurements and we decided to stay for that. Just in case the house did decide to fall in, I got the camcorder ready and in my hands.

All at once, the house started cracking and creaking, and I turned on the camera as fast as I could. Right before our stunned eyes, half of the house broke away and fell into the sinkhole, stopping just short of sliding all the way to the bottom. I was completely shocked. I couldn't believe I'd actually just seen that, much less gotten it on video. And I was the only one there who had.

After a bit, the KY3 cameraman came and sat up right beside us while they started moving the firetruck into position next to the sinkhole. After a bit of talking between ourselves, Hiccup asked the cameraman if KY3 ever bought footage. He said no, but they did in the past. Hiccup told him she was asking because we had gotten that house falling into the sinkhole on tape. That seemed to make him think harder on it, and he asked to see the video. He got pretty excited once he saw it and said that he would call the office and see if they were interested.

When he got off the phone, he told me they were willing to buy it for their standard rate of thirty dollars. It wasn't a ton of money, but honestly, if they had said no to buying it, I would've offered it to them for free just to see it on the news. Michelle Sherwood came over and talked to us a bit, and we showed her the video as well.

They both started making phone calls to find out the best way to transfer our Digital8 video to KY3. After a bit, they decided it would be easiest, if we didn't mind, to go over to the studio and do it there. That was fine with me. As an explorer, I was always curious to see the inside of the place anyway. So, we started heading over that way.

At the studio, we were met by a guy that took us back to a video editing room with a TON of expensive-looking equipment. He had me hook the video camera up to a cable he had and play the video for him a few times. While we were doing that, a lady came in and talked to Hiccup about cutting us a check. Once the guy was satisfied he'd gotten the video, he led us back down toward the lobby to wait for our check.

Halfway there, Jerry Jacob stepped out of a doorway with a camcorder of his own and started chatting with us. We told him about the sinkhole and he told us he was also having some video dubbed off. He told us it was video him being struck by lightning. At first we thought he was joking, but if he was, he never let up on it. Then he showed us the video, and it actually was of lightning striking right in front of the camera. It was pretty cool. He said it jolted him and made his hair stand on end, and he made electrocuting gestures for emphasis. I still don't know whether he was kidding about that or not.

Before we went to the lobby, I asked if I could take his picture. He looked surprised that we wanted it. Hiccup, who doesn't watch television and had no idea who he was, said, "Well, yeah, you're famous, aren't you?" And with a straight face he looked at her and said, "No, no, I'm not famous." It was definitely amusing. But he smiled huge and moved over next to Hiccup, and I got a pretty awesome picture of the two of them.

After that, we went to the lobby and waited. At first, the lady came back with a check for the wrong person, but after a few more minutes she came back with the right one. It was neat to get a freelance check from KY3. I decided right away I'd probably just keep it as a souvenir instead of cashing it.

And that was the end of an extremely eventful day.

Underground Ozarks Blog

Here you can read about White Rabbit's day-to-day explorations and adventures.

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