FRASER (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say it will take several months to repair a sinkhole that has formed in a Macomb County neighborhood, forcing home evacuations and closing roadways.
Fraser city officials met to update residents on Monday, two days after the underground sewer collapse. Officials say the sinkhole is about 250 feet long by 100 feet wide — larger than one in 2004 that caused a nearby section of roadway to cave in.
Residents were told repairs could take up to 10 months, as engineers are concerned the collapse could widen.
About 20 homes on Eberlein Drive, near 15 Mile and Hayes roads, were evacuated over the Christmas holiday weekend after a massive sinkhole began opening up underneath part of the neighborhood. Residents have been told they should be allowed back into their homes within two weeks, but at least three of the homes are considered unsafe to inhabit and will be condemned.
Authorities say the sinkhole arose due to sewer pipe collapse about 45 feet under the ground. Water, sanitary sewer and gas main have all been cut off. Crews have also started pumping sewage into the Clinton River as a way to alleviate possible flooding in homes. Residents in the area are advised to clear their basement floors.
Mayor Joseph Nichols, who declared a state of emergency, told residents he understands they are upset. He says the goal is to get answers and people back in their homes. Special funding is planned to be applied to help address the sinkhole and related costs.
In 2004, a sewer collapse caused a nearby section of 15 Mile Road in Sterling Heights to cave in. It created a sinkhole 160 feet long, 60 feet wide and 30 feet deep. Officials haven’t yet said if the two incidents are related.
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