Mystery mound growing on Mira Mesa street

Posted at 11:30 PM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 19:58:26-04

Neighbors are perplexed by a large mound bursting out of a Mira Mesa street. They say they can't drive over it, and every time the city comes to fix comes back.

For many, it's a driving hazard. But for one's a more serious issue.

The Nograles family lives n the house right in front of the mound. Their son Elleezar has cerebral palsy. To help his son, Thadeous Nograles bought a special handicapped van with a lift for more than $40,000.

"We only use this for him," Nograles said. "Every time he has an appointment we use this van.”

With the mound directly in front of their driveway, it’s difficult to even move the van out - let alone use the wheelchair lift.

"If it’s really like (an) emergency, that’s the problem I have," Nograles said. "How can I pull this thing out if it’s like (an) emergency?”

Neighbors say the mound has been scraped and paved for a number of years, but it just keeps getting worse.

Since the city's fixes haven’t worked, 10News called Geologist Pat Abbott.

"Why are things bulging up here?” Abbott said. "Whatever is doing this is not mother nature,  this is something in the human-built environment.”

Abbott says the answer lies in the clay.

"When I look at it very carefully, what I see in here are lots of little fractures," he said. "When there’s a lot of water, they swell up.”

Abbott's guess - water is causing the clay to expand and allowing the mound to return.

"Probably if we got the shovel out and dug down a little bit, we’ll found a broken water pipe," Abbott said.

The city plans on taking another look at the problem. Nograles just hopes that happens before something serious happens with his son.

10News spoke to the Council Member for the area, Chris Cate. He says they’ve put in a formal request to the city to not just pave over it, but find a permanent solution.
There's no timetable on when that will happen.