Weather Forecast


Recent rains contribute to significant sinkhole on road N.W. of Willmar

This sinkhole at 3881 Horizon Hills Circle eliminates half of the usable road and is about 3 feet deep. The taping and marking was done by neighborhood residents to alert others to the dangerous obstruction. A township supervisor learned of the hazard Tuesday from the Tribune and said a contractor would be notified immediately to conduct repairs. (Tribune photo by Kyle Rozendaal)

By Kyle Rozendaal

WILLMAR — A large sinkhole opened underneath Kris Ryks’ truck Saturday while he was driving his daughter down the street to a friend’s house on Horizon Hills Circle northwest of Willmar.

“It could have been a lot worse than it was,” said Ryks. “My truck sits up really high and I was only driving 10 or 15 miles per hour so thankfully no one was hurt.”

Richard Swenson, a supervisor of Dovre Township, learned of the sinkhole Tuesday during an interview with the Tribune.

“It’s only the second or third sinkhole we have had to fix this year,” said Swenson, who has been in charge of lining up contractors to fix any sinkholes that open up in the township.

“Generally, they open where there is a culvert crossing under the road and the soil erodes more quickly.”

According to Swenson, recent rains make the sinkhole problem exponentially worse.

Running water can be heard coming from the sinkhole, and Ryks said he thinks that there is a culvert underneath the road where the sinkhole opened.

Once a contractor is notified and begins work on the sinkhole, usually the problem is solved in a day, according to Swenson, who promised to call a contractor immediately after the interview.