Rockaway residents getting that sink-ing feeling

by Michael Mosher on November 20, 2012

Post image for Rockaway residents getting that sink-ing feeling

If lack of power and flood damage wasn’t enough, some Rockaway residents are getting the sinking suspicion that the ground just might literally cave in underneath them.

A cluster of sizeable sinkholes have appeared in the Arverne section of the peninsula, startling residents and one volunteer who documented all 12 of the noticeable indentations in the ground.

Storm recovery volunteer Steve Major picked up on a pattern of the holes as he was going door-to-door for a relief group last week along Beach 68th St. near Bayfield Ave.

“I’m extremely concerned that what’s visible isn’t the full extent of it,” said Major, an engineer and construction worker who came from Phoenix to lend a hand in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Major began documenting the sinkholes, which in one instance went as deep as 10-feet and as wide as two-feet.

“Most sinkholes don’t get discovered until there’s a serious collapse and someone dies,” he said. “I’d like to see if we can’t get this fixed before a house falls in.”

Locals along the storm-battered street — many of whom are still trying to rebuild their lives — were on edge after the discovery.

“My children noticed the holes in the backyard,” said resident Tyeakia Miles, 45. “The police officers came and measured it. One was five feet deep.”

The area is now “off-limits” to her four children due to fear of serious injury, Miles said.

Resident Adolfo Richter noticed three unmistakable indentations on his smoothly paved backyard shortly after Sandy struck.

After watching the entire basement of his property take on water, the crumbling concrete is insult to injury, he said.

After the deluge, the water must have gone underground, said Richter, 67. “It’s down there somewhere and now I’m really scared.”

The city Department of Environmental Protection was not aware of the sinkhole issue prior to the Daily News’ inquiries on Monday, officials said.

“DEP has dispatched crews to inspect the sinkholes,” an agency spokesman said.

Meanwhile, mother-of-two Danielle Hernandez said she fears for the welfare of her grandmother, who has the sinkholes in her backyard.

“It’s nerve wracking,” she said. “You don’t know. The ground might shift.”

Full article…here

Previous post:

Next post: