Bankhead residents' concern grows over uncovered meter holes

Residents complain of uncovered water meters

ATLANTA -- Residents in Bankhead are concerned over uncovered holes along busy streets around the area. A local pastor says he may have long term damage after falling in one of them.

Residents contacted 11Alive about their concern of uncovered water meters along a stretch of Donald Lee Hollowell, so 11Alive went to take a look. Within a two-block stretch, our search found three uncovered water meters.

Pastor John Vera said a normal walk to the bus stop nearly cost him his ankle.

“When I walked, my foot just went right in the hole and this went flying up in the air and I went down to the ground,” Vera said. “If I didn't put my hand out like this I would have busted my head."

He said his entire foot was caught in a hole as he fell to the ground. The fall was so bad he was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

Vera said these uncovered holes aren't anything new. He said he has called city officials but nothing has been done.

Dollar who works across the street said he's also called.

“I said something about it to them but they were like, 'This isn't our responsibility,'" Dollar said. “You have a lot of plates on this street in general that that plates have been moved and you have the holes there and its real dangerous."

11Alive reached out to City Councilman Ivory Young Jr. who represents District 3 as well as Atlanta Watershed Management and the Georgia Department of Transportation, to get answers.

Young's office said it tracks calls and reports about issues like this but did not have any on file for the uncovered holes.

Watershed Management said these are two different types of holes. And while the water meters fall under its jurisdiction, GDOT is responsible for the damaged drain basin.

While Vera is left to foot the bill for his hospital visit, he just wants the holes covered before someone else gets hurt.

“There's old people around here, there's handicapped,” he said. “Some of them are blind and they can't see these holes.”

11Alive asked officials what could have possibly happened to the covers. While they didn't have an answer, some residents said they believe the plates are being stolen and sold as scrap metal.

As for the  hole where the pastor fell, 11Alive has learned from Atlanta Watershed Management that that lid has been replaced.

The Department of Transportation has also sent crews to look at the drainage basis mentioned earlier in the story.

They said the cover was slightly off-set allowing cars to hit it and cause more damage.

At this time, however, there is no estimated time frame for repairs.

1/11/2017 UPDATE: More than two months later, progress has been made. Watch the video below for an update.

(© 2017 WXIA)


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