Bedford County Sinkhole One of Several Weather-Related Issues - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Bedford County Sinkhole One of Several Weather-Related Issues VDOT Eyeing

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Many sinkholes, like the one that opened up in Bedford on Sunday, are not created completely because of the rain.

"They often occur naturally," says VDOT spokesperson Jamie Smith. "But the weather and rain can speed it up as the water moves through the cracks and helps pull it away a little faster."

Water that was quickly moving through some separated pipes in Bedford may be to blame for the most recent sinkhole in the area. Smith says the pipes that were separated were storm water pipes, so as water flowed through it gradually eroded the material under the roadway.

The sinkhole in Bedford isn't the only weather-related issue that VDOT workers are focusing on.

They're keeping a close eye on a crack in a mountain near I-81 in Montgomery County, and doing routine maintenance on some other major roads in an effort to prevent more rock slides like the one we saw on I-77 back in March.

"They try to catch it before something major happens," Smith says.

But often that can be hard to do, especially when many of the problems begin deep underground.