Homeowners concerned about nearby blasting site

Homeowners concerned about nearby blasting site

BRISTOL, Va. - Giant holes in a front yard, cracks on the walls, and dirt moving around the foundation of a home; could it be from blasting at a nearby construction site? That's what some residents in Bristol, Virginia are wondering.

"All of a sudden the house started shaking," said Ashley Grimm. She says she's never felt an earthquake, but thinks she experienced something similar at home last week.

"Everything just rattled. All the dishes and our cabinet rattled," Grimm says. She says she even watched a crack form in the wall right after the shaking.

The Grimms live in Spring Lake Estates. The neighborhood sits across the interstate from the construction site of The Falls, a new development planned in Bristol, Virginia.

Neighbors there say they're noticing changes in their homes. One resident has sinkholes forming in his front yard; another has cracks inside the home. Several residents have called the city to complain.

The company that monitors the force of the blast, Vibration Control Engineering, or VCE, put seismographs in some yards to measure any movement.

Jim Mullins had a seismograph in his yard a few weeks ago, but he was told the results were within the state limits. "[The representative] said my house was not in immediate danger and he would go back and report to the city," Mullins told us.

We checked with VCE's eastern states divisional manager, David Rose. He has been inspecting the homes and tells us the blasting is all within state limits. "I'm not saying that homeowners won't feel it or hear it, but as far as causing any damage or those cracks being as a result, of the blasting, no," he said.

Now homeowners aren't sure what comes next. "I really haven't thought about it. I'm just kind of concerned how much more cracking we're going to have to put up with and how we're going to get it fixed," says resident Mark Grimm.

Click here to view a video of blasting at the site.

Click here to view photos documenting the progress of The Falls.

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