Growing Sinkhole A Safety Danger For Neighborhood

Growing Sinkhole A Safety Danger For Neighborhood

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Fox 29 is working to get results for a family in Philadelphia's Oxford Circle neighborhood.

The home they rent is without water, but there's plenty of it filling the growing sinkhole out front.

We asked our Bruce Gordon to take a look.

On the surface, the hole in front of Shawna Ryan's place on 6800 Lynford Street measures no more than one foot by four feet.

"From there to out here, I'm afraid it's going to sink. It's going to be a huge sinkhole," Ryan said.

But Shawna has had to rig up a safety barrier to keep neighborhood kids away from a much bigger danger: The cavity is much wider and plenty deep!

A cracked pipe leading from the water main to Shawna's home has flooded the area below ground.

Out back water gurgles up from the drain pipe flooding the back alley. Luckily, gravity takes that water right back down the neighbor's drain.

With all that unwanted water outside, Shawna can't get a drop of water inside.

"Nothing. No water at all," Ryan said. It's been about a week and four days.

The city water department came out late last month and ordered Shawna's landlord to get the pipe fixed, but Shawna said that hasn't happened.

"Have not heard from her. Have not spoken to her. Have knocked on her door- no answer," Ryan said.

City records show the owner of the property as a Cui Mei Zhen. There was no answer when Bruce went to the address listed for her.

 

And a language barrier prevented much of a conversation by phone.

 

"And my concern is there are a lot of children on the block and we don't want a major sinkhole on the block," Ryan said.

The water department returned Bruce's calls late on Monday afternoon to say they will come out and shut off the water below ground. That should stop the flooding and reduce the risk of it caving in.

Now we are working on getting that pipe fixed so Shawna gets the water she needs inside.

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