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Sinkholes starting to emerge

By Zach Crenshaw
Published On: Jun 24 2014 06:20:01 PM CDT

Sinkholes are showing up across our area, and WSBT's Zach Crenshaw tells us what's being done to fix at least one of the problems.

SOUTH BEND -

With the recent rain, sinkholes are beginning to develop in the area.

The South Bend Sewer Department was at the intersection of Elwood and Wilber all day Tuesday, starting to repair a broken pipe that could have led to a massive sinkhole.

A camera detected a 15-inch break in piping under the intersection, so the department called for its emergency closure.

When crews began to break through the concrete, there turned out to be a much larger hole than expected. The city is relieved it was able to fix the problem before anyone was hurt.

“We were very fortunate that we caught this, because this is a highly trafficked area, with school buses, Transpo, things like that," explained South Bend Sewer Superintendent Josh Pemberton. "So, we’re lucky we caught it when we did, because if it had continued, we would probably have a sinkhole in the street.

The intersection of Elwood and Wilber will be open to traffic again starting Friday at 8 a.m.

In a separate incident, a sinkhole materialized in Mishawaka's Oak Grove Park Monday night. It looks like a harmless pothole, but it’s actually 12 feet deep.

Maintenance crews with the park say it’s not the first time they have had sinkholes, as the park used to be an old campground and has old sewage barrels under it. That sinkhole should be fixed by Saturday.

If you see a sinkhole, call 311 and report it immediately.