Workers repair and fill sinkhole in Ocean City

OCEAN CITY – Workers in Ocean City continued to fill an eight-foot deep sinkhole after the road collapsed Wednesday evening.

“It’s about as scary as you can get.”

Will Parsels is referring to the eight-foot deep sinkhole located only a matter of steps from his front door. He says he is grateful that no one was hurt when it collapsed Wednesday evening.

But Ocean City residents say that the location is a little too close to home.

“You read and see these people who have lost their lives sleeping in bed and all the sudden boom they are in a hole,” said Parsels.

“We were hearing these booms, as the trucks and trailers were going over it and stuff was flying out of them and when we went outside to look it was a big pot hole,” said Ocean City resident, Eric Schepps.

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On Thursday workers repaired the sinkhole that opened in the intersection of Bay Avenue and 20th Street and filled it with what is refereed to as “clean-fill”.

“In order for us to do our work we’ve got to make that hole larger because the main is so deep, its 8 or 9 feet deep,” said New Jersey American Water site manager, Dave Gelona. “We’ve got to put sheeting down to protect the sides of the main. Protect the sides of the hole so its doesn’t collapse.”

Officials say the hole may have been partially caused by Hurricane Sandy. During the storm the streets were flooded with water.

That combined with Wednesdays 80 degree weather, they say could have caused the road to buckle, and a gravity sewer main to collapse.

“Could be a break in a storm drain line or a break in the sewage main. We’re not really sure. Or it could be Hurricane Sandy related. We’re not really sure at this point,” said Gelona.

Recently sinkholes of this magnitude have become more common here in South Jersey. Some have been reported in Atlantic City and one even opening up in Brigantine on March 27th.

“It could happen to anyone, anyplace, anytime.”

New Jersey American Water confirmed that a sewer main did collapse but it did not affect any customers. The closed roads due to the sinkhole are expected to re-open early Thursday evening.

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