Sink­hole forces evac­u­a­tions of some Detroit area homes

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

A sink­hole form­ing north of Detroit forced the Christ­mas Eve evac­u­a­tions of more than a dozen homes and the clo­sure of a busy road­way that was ex­pected to col­lapse due to a pos­si­ble sewer prob­lem. Po­lice and fire­fight­ers were called to the neigh­bor­hood in Fraser about 6 a.m. Satur­day af­ter a home­owner called au­thor­i­ties and said his house was sink­ing. “You can hear the base­ment walls crack­ing, so we evac­u­ated that fam­ily right away,” Fraser Public Safety Di­rec­tor Ge­orge Rouhib told The Ma­comb Daily in Mount Cle­mens. “The house is get­ting worse - the bricks are fall­ing off the side, the side­walk is lift­ing.” Traf­fic along 15 Mile Road also was di­verted. An un­der­ground cam­era was be­ing used to view any dam­age to a ma­jor sewer line be­low the road. “It’s not a ques­tion of whether the road will col­lapse, but when it will col­lapse,” Fraser Public Safety Lt. Michael Pet­tyes said.

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. The 11-footwide sewer line is about 55 feet un­der­ground. “You get a break in that line - it’s just wash­ing away dirt down there,” Pet­tyes told the Detroit Free Press. “It cre­ates a void. When it cre­ates a void, it moves the dirt out. The ground gives way.”

Many of the evac­u­at­ing res­i­dents were seen tak­ing their wrapped gifts with them Satur­day as they left their homes. “It’s dev­as­tat­ing to watch peo­ple walk­ing out of their homes with their Christ­mas pre­sents,” said Alan­nah Wood, shift man­ager at Green Lan­tern, a pizza restau­rant across 15 Mile Road. “It’s heart­break­ing be­cause some of them will have no place else to go.”

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