Family Returns Home After Sinkhole Opens

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Officials are investigating the cause of a sinkhole that opened up behind a home in Northampton County, forcing a family to evacuate. NBC10's Claudia Rivero has the story. (Published Sunday, Mar 10, 2013)

    It seemed like any other Sunday for Doris Jenkins. The Bethlehem Township resident got up bright and early to walk her dog. As soon as she stepped out of the house however, she immediately noticed that something was wrong.

    "I came around the corner and said, 'oh my God!'" said Jenkins. "My daughter's car was there. I woke her up and told her to get the car out of there!"

    A sinkhole had opened up right in the driveway of her house, located on the 1500 block of 2nd Street. Doris, her daughter Inga Jenkins and her granddaughter Claudia Jenkins were forced to evacuate their house.

    "I wasn't thinking that this was how I was going to be spend my Sunday afternoon," said Inga while in tears. "It's pretty upsetting to see your driveway start to fall into a hole."

    Bethlehem Township Assistant Fire Chief Ron Ford told NBC10's Claudia Rivero that crews have been in the neighborhood all week repairing a break in the sewer line. While there was sewage inside the sinkhole, fire officials say they're unsure if the sinkhole caused the line to break or if the line was too old.

    While the Jenkins family was forced to evacuate the home on Sunday, on Monday engineers determined that the sinkhole was not affecting the structure of the house and that it was safe for the family to live there. The family returned to the home around 11:30 a.m. Crews say it should take them about two weeks to fix the sinkhole.

    There was another report of two small sinkholes that opened up earlier this week at 1470 2nd Street.

    NBC10 reported on several sinkholes in the Lehigh Valley area over the last year. Several dozen Allentown families were forced to find temporary housing after a sinkhole opened under their street. In 2011, 54 graves were threatened by approaching water from a sinkhole.

     


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