When Linnea Beazley woke up Wednesday morning, she noticed that a narrow but deep hole had formed in the parkway outside her Belmont Heights home. By that night, the hole had grown three times wider.
“It’s a cavern,” Beazley said at the time. “Six people could jump in there right now. It’s shocking.”
Beazley blamed what she called the slow-moving Department of Water Management, which took more than a week to repair a damaged water service line near her house. The leak in the pipe had announced itself in April, Beazley said, when when her water meter started making a loud gushing sound. An official from the water department reported the problem to supervisors May 13, Beazley said.
Also last week, a plumber warned Beazley that she would have a sinkhole in her yard if the pipe wasn’t repaired immediately.
Department of Water Management spokesman Bill McCaffrey said the department decided to treat the issue as an emergency after the city received a 311 call reporting that the hole had grown.
City crews arrived early Thursday and worked through dawn to repair the pipe and fill the hole, Beazley said. By the time the sun was up, a gravel surface marked where the hole had been.
“It was very loud and very dramatic. But it’s finally fixed,” she said.
The hole had terrified Beazley and her neighbors on the 3400 block of North Orange Avenue.
“This could be a serious thing,” said Bobbe Jean Allen, who lives two doors down from Beazley. “Someone walking down the sidewalk and just taking a peek could fall in.”
McCaffrey said the water department deals with similar leaks 25 to 50 times per week.
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