Omaha Sinkhole Swallows Section of Street

January 6, 2015

A large sinkhole swallowed up an entire section of a street near downtown Omaha, Neb., this week.

The sinkhole, which consumed the width of the two-lane street, was reported New Year’s Day near 20th and Pierce streets.

Lesley Mosley, a resident in the area, told Omaha television station KETV that she heard a loud noise and thought it was a car accident.

The sinkhole is about 25 feet in diameter and about 15 deep, officials said. No injuries or property damage was reported.

“This cave-in is on a much bigger scale than we usually see,” Craig Christians, manager of Omaha’s sewer maintenance division, told the Omaha World-Herald.

The city had blocked off that section of the street on Christmas Day after someone noticed the street sagging, Christians said. Maintenance workers discovered that a century-old brick manhole had collapsed, allowing water to wash out the soil underneath the street.

“The pavement, under its own weight and (with) no support under it, collapsed,” Christians told the newspaper.

Christians said it could take months to repair the street.

It’s at least the third large sinkhole in the area since mid-June. On June 22, one at 22nd Street and Saint Mary’s Avenue swallowed a woman’s car, who suffered minor injuries. In September, another sinkhole opened up nearby at 20th and Farnam streets because of a water main break. No injuries were reported from that incident.

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