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Cracks rapidly surface in Valley community; neighbors warn signs of sinkholes

Warning signs of sinkholes in the desert?

BERMUDA DUNES, Calif. - Jerry Sims says 45 days is all it took for more than eight cracks to break ground on Saint Annes Bay Drive in Bermuda Dunes.

"In 45 days it's just gradually gotten bigger and bigger. We didn't have these cracks before. They're virtually in every lot," said Sims.

What started as a hairline crack in the road, which was repaved 10 years ago, crept into his driveway.

"A year ago it was all compacted. Now this crack in the street is lined up with the driveway. My concern is how long until it gets into the foundation," said Sims.

Jerry's wife LuAnn has her own theory for what's beneath the mysterious cracks but fears they will create a homeowner's nightmare.

"We like our neighborhood and our street, but I don't want to come home one day and find my driveway in a sinkhole or anyone else's," she added.

Sims believes a possible leak in the water main below could be the cause.

General manager Mark Meeler of the Myoma Dunes Water Company, which services neighborhoods in Bermuda Dunes, said leaking water is "100 percent" not the issue.

"I would ask the county. They have asphalt experts who can discern whether it's a shrinkage of asphalt. But I don't see it as a water issue," said Meeler.

Sims says "If he's 100 percent sure, that's pretty bold without checking."

We called Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit about the issue, but his office is closed on Fridays.

Sims says he tried calling several times before. He hopes the county will step in and find out why the cracks are rapidly surfacing.

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