Stafford County sinkhole threatens homes

(Photo: Kris Van Cleave)

A lifetime of memories - those keep-sakes we all have that can't be replaced - sit outside in a front yard.

While inside, Katrina Barnes does one last sweep of the house her family's called home for a decade. This could be the last time she's inside.

“There's just a lot you collect you know?” Barnes said. “Now we're just going to have to leave some of it, we're just trying to grab as much as we can.”

But it’s the not economy that could take Ora and Katrina's Stafford county home. It’s what's happening right outside their back window.

Call it a sink hole. Call it a landslide. Whatever it is, the back yard of his home and the one next to it has been collapsing since the weekend. The ground is already gone under a deck and the edge is moving closer to the homes every day.

The county has condemned both properties, and will soon fence them off, giving the Barnes’ precious little time to get out what they can.

Friends coming to help save their memories an armful at a time.

The backyard has slipped twice before, but never this much and not since a retaining wall was put in years ago - a wall that's been tossed aside as the backyard collapses towards the trees.

County officials were out Tuesday working on a plan to see if they can save the homes. But for now, the ground still appears to be moving and they've told both families to stay out.