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Here Are 4 Sinkholes In Iowa That Will Leave You Terrified Of Earth

The word “sinkhole” conjures up images of massive, uncontrollable holes in the ground…or maybe just images of potholes in the street. Either way, they’re unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst. Iowa hasn’t been immune to sinkholes. In fact, abandoned coal mines and a certain type of soil mean that sinkholes are actually a common occurrence in Iowa.

1. Des Moines, April 2016

This sinkhole happened just last month in Des Moines. It was still crumbling in on itself as the news crew filmed. According to an expert, abandoned coal mines beneath Des Moines led to the ground opening up and swallowing this entire front yard, including a tree.

2. Burlington, April 2014

This sinkhole in Burlington wasn’t caused by mines; rather, a water main leak wore away at the ground under the street over time. When the weight of the street was too much for the now-hollow space below, the street simply caved in on itself. Thank goodness it didn’t do so with a car on top of it.

3. Dubuque, May 2014

Another sinkhole, this one in Dubuque, is blamed on abandoned coal mine shafts from the early 20th century, when Iowa briefly had a fledgling coal mining industry. Experts say that there are around 6000 abandoned coal mines in 38 Iowa counties, but that they are no reason for people to panic. Sinkholes like these are very rare.

4. Council Bluffs, October 2013

This video is actually from a Nebraska news station, but it details the cause of a huge sinkhole that opened up on I-80 in Council Bluffs. Again, thankfully, no one was injured. On such a busy stretch of road, this could have been a major disaster.

Have you ever experienced one of these terrifying sinkholes first-hand? Tell your stories in the comments.

Delana
Delana is a writer and editor who has lived in Nebraska for most of her life.