The Sinkhole That Swallowed Bay Ridge Street Not the First the City Has Seen

Written by NYPress on . Posted in Breaking News, News Our Town Downtown, Our Town Downtown.


When she left to walk the dog yesterday afternoon, Maddie Flood found something unusual in the middle of the street outside her Bay Ridge home: an enormous hole.

Flood and her mother Anette had just parked her car in front of the house five minutes ago. Now, it was teetering on the edge of a 20-foot-deep by 20-foot-wide sinkhole that had opened up while she was inside.

Photo of the Bay Ridge Sinkhole by Twitter user @gazawia

“We’re so blessed,” she told CBS News. “If we were five minutes later or anything, we could have been in the hole.”

FDNY and members of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) arrived at the scene — 79th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues — and were able to rescue the car. No injuries were reported, though some family’s cars were stuck in their driveways.

According to the DEP, the hole was caused by the collapse of a 50-inch, century-old sewer pipe.  It remains unclear, however, exactly why the hole opened up.

DEP spokesperson Jim Roberts says repairs will last at least through the weekend. “It’s a reasonably deep excavation, so we have to be cautious about how we go about it so it’s safely done,”  he told CBS.

Some residents are skeptical about the quality of work that is going into the city’s street construction in the first place. Christine Hansen said to CBS, “The work is shabby. They’re not doing the work right. It’s not being filled in properly.”

Whether or not Hansen is correct, this certainly isn’t the first sinkhole the city has seen. In fact, one appeared last month just 15 blocks away.

One struck 106th Street in Manhattan a year ago when a water main broke and flooded several subway stations.

A reoccurring one also stopped traffic in Midtown last year.

One hit Bedford Park in 2010.

One even swallowed an SUV in Brooklyn back in 2006.

The list goes on, sadly. Know of more? Share your New York City sinkhole story below!

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