National News

Pinal County business owner furious after fissure tears through property

Posted July 28

— A Pinal County business owner is furious after a 300-foot fissure opened up on his property Monday, splitting his parking lot.

"You just see a big open void of empty earth. There's nothing there, there's no dirt left," says Brad Fanton of Man Cave RV.

The fissure near Baseline and Meredian roads, he says, has continued to grow.

The manufacturing company moved to the site in 2015. Fanton blames the County for not warning him about fissures, but a Pinal County spokesman says Fanton had hired an engineering firm to fix a fissure shortly after he moved in.

Fanton argues the County is referring to a different, smaller fissure.

"This is my loading and unloading zone," says Fanton. "I would say that it's definitely inconvenient."

Geologists with the Arizona Geological Survey say it appears the fissure has been there since the early 1990s but someone had covered it up.

Fanton is now worried the fissure will only get worse with weekend storms.

"It's already difficult to be a small business owner with the challenges that you face every day," says Fanton. "On top of that, to deal with these unnecessary complications surely don't help anything."

Arizona Geological Survey says the cause of fissures stems from the effects of ground-water pumping back in the 1950s that left the soil unstable.

"The first Earth fissure in the Apache Junction area was discovered in 1976 near the planned CAP Canal alignment," says geologist Joe Cook. "Since then, many more fissures have formed and continue to extend and exhibit collapse today, especially during and immediately following heavy rains."

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