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Sunken, damaged graves at Fort Bliss cemetery after heavy rain

EL PASO, Texas -- Over the past week rainfall flooded more than just the streets of El Paso, it also caused damage to grave plots at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

Approximately 200 plots were sunken in from the weather.

Brenda Bustos, the Fort Bliss National Cemetery administrative officer, said there were many factors that caused this to happen.

“The sunken grave sites are caused due to the water, the thunderstorms, we received over this past week, it causes the air pockets that are within the earth to take all that water in, and then it makes the soil heavy and therefore it sinks,” she said.

“In our older sections we didn't have grave liners that protect the casket, so when the casket is old it deteriorates so it collapses and when it collapses all the dirt comes down with it,” she added.

Bustos told ABC-7 that the damaged plots were filled with additional soil, leveled off and compacted in effort to keep the graves from sinking in further.

In order to prevent future sinking, the cemetery is placing the casket, or urn, into a cube made of cement “and then we cover all that up with soil and that's what is now preventing this to happen in our new sections for,” said Bustos.

Unless the headstone is damaged, loved ones will not be notified of the erosion. The repairs also come at no cost to the families.

“We don't expect it to happen as much, as time passes because the ones that we’re filling we do expect for those not to be sinking again,” Bustos explained.

Brianna Perez

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3 Comments

    1. Now here is where we can use some infrastructure funding to retrofit the plots that do not have that cement covering. Our vets deserve to rest in peace with dignity.

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