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Sinkhole in Williamson County neighborhood reveals deep cave under 3 homes

Interior photo of Cambria Cavern. (Courtesy: Cambrian Environmental)

A sinkhole in Williamson County is exposing a 22-foot-deep cavern. New pictures show how far it reaches underneath three homes in the Brushy Creek neighborhood.

The hole opened up Thursday morning in the 8400 block of Cambria Drive. On Friday, geologists mapped the cave and are now calling it Cambria Cavern.

“We don't have sinkholes. This is Texas, this is Central Texas,” said Michelle Mitchell, who lives three doors down from the sinkhole.

Mitchell laughed in disbelief when she was first told a sinkhole had opened up into a cavern on her street. But after walking down to see it for herself, her reaction changed.

“It's scary,” said Mitchell.

On Friday, Cambrian Environmental released new pictures of the cave. It's up to 22 feet deep and stretches for 170 feet. The entrance to the cave is next to water and gas lines. The three chambers of the cave extend east underneath three houses.

Mitchell’s home is by the smallest chamber that is eight feet deep.

“I want to know as a homeowner what to do to keep everything safe and keep the foundation secure,” said Mitchell.

Geologists from Cambrian Environmental spent Friday mapping the cave. A white line in the middle of Cambria Drive is the starting point. Other than the collapse area, the cave experts think the limestone is thick enough underneath the road to remain stable.

“There is at least five and one-quarter feet between the roadway and the cave, so there is some depth there,” said Connie Odom, spokesperson for Williamson County.

The geologists also gauged the integrity of the ceiling of the cave underneath these three homes.

“They do not feel concerned for the areas that are further back. They don't see that the ceiling in the areas further back have a disturbance,” said Odom.

For now, Mitchell and her family are staying put.

“I'm fine with it. I'm not worried about it,” said Mitchell.

But she would like a list of the do’s and don’ts of living on top of a cave. She would also like to see Williamson County install underground reinforcements to keep another hole from opening up.

“There are caves everywhere," says Mitchell. "They are under roadways. They're everywhere you just don't always know it. I guess this is our lucky day."

On Monday, structural engineers will be brought in to determine the cave's stability.

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