Eastern Pennsylvania Sinkhole Prompts Evacuations

July 31, 2012

Several dozen people in eastern Pennsylvania have been forced to find new homes at least temporarily after a sinkhole opened under their street.

Officials in Allentown said the hole spotted by a resident at about 1 p.m. Saturday prompted evacuation of a block of row homes.

Fire Chief Robert Scheirer said officials hope to be able to shore up and repair the homes, but residents would probably be displaced for a few days or longer.

Engineers will send a robotic camera down to see how deep the hole is and test how fast it’s spreading.

In December a water main break and a sinkhole elsewhere forced two dozen Allentown residents to evacuate.

In 1994, a sinkhole damaged the city’s Corporate Plaza building, which had to be demolished.

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