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By Grant Bissell

MONROE COUNTY, Ill. (KSDK) - At least five sinkholes surround John Green's Monroe County, Ill. home, and they're growing in size and number.

"It's not a big concern for me," said Green. "It's kind of like living on a hill with a valley down below."

Mike Fausz, Administrator of the Monroe County Zoning Department, says pits like those around Green's home are pretty common. In fact, many small ponds that dot the area are the result of sinkholes.

Because soft limestone bedrock lies beneath the surface, certain parts of southwestern Ill. are prone to sinkholes. They include parts of Madison, St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph counties.

But Fausz says finding them is tricky.

"We never know where a new one could come up," said Fausz. "We don't have a lot of them that do come up. But there's always a possibility of having a sinkhole appear somewhere."

Fausz says there are no reports of sinkholes causing property damage in the area. And that's good news for homeowners like John Green because sinkhole damage isn't covered by most homeowner's insurance. An agent told NewsChannel 5 it can be added to a policy, but not every company sells sinkhole coverage.

Green says he's not worried about a sinkhole swallowing his home, but he still keeps a close watch on the ones nearby.

"I measure them occasionally," said Green. "I haven't seen much growth over the last three years."

If you've got concerns about sinkholes on your property call your local county offices. They may have someone who can come out and help fix a sink hole before it becomes a big problem.

If you're interested in sinkhole coverage, call your insurance agent.

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