That familiar sinking feeling as new sinkhole forms in Bay Ridge

July 26, 2016 Jaime DeJesus
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A sizable sinkhole has formed on 79th Street near Third Avenue during the afternoon hours of Tuesday, July 26.

The FDNY quickly showed up to tape the area and investigate the cause. One FDNY member estimated that the hole is approximately 10 feet deep.

No one was injured, no cars were damaged and the block has been closed off.

“We walked out of the apartment and the hole was here already,” said resident Chris Eujnowski.  “It’s scary, especially with what happened last Friday.”

According to residents, a smaller sinkhole formed during the evening of Friday, July 22 just a few feet away from the current, larger one. The city repaired it the same evening.

Residents stated that they had heard strange noises over the past two months that had them concerned that a large sinkhole would eventually form. “There is a manhole here by the curb,” Eujnowski added. “I heard the water running like I never heard before for a couple of months, The neighbors and I were talking about the noise, asking what is running here.”

“It felt like a car was running for months,” said another neighbor. “I thought that the sound was a car running, but it was the sewage. We heard the water constantly, all day. We knew something was wrong. Thank God no one was driving through here at the time.”

The second sinkhole in less than a week has most of the block concerned. “I’m afraid to drive here,” added another local, Christine F. “I am scared this keeps happening. It’s happening all over Bay Ridge. I remember the big one on Fifth Avenue [in Sunset Park, that’s still under repair]. What if someone was walking their dog and the dog ran over there? We suspected something like this would happen.”

“This has been happening for a couple of weeks now,” added Ramon D. “First, it was the small one and then there’s this one and water is coming out of another manhole. We are very concerned.”

Firefighters went into Eujnowski’s apartment complex, but found no water.

According to the FDNY, the cause may have been water filing up and undermined the area, but the firefighters on scene were awaiting the Department of Environment Protection and Con-Edison to arrive.

The neighborhood is no stranger to sinkholes. Four years ago, a large sinkhole formed on 79th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues due to a damaged sewer pipe. That same summer, a mammoth sinkhole formed on 92nd Street between Third Avenue and Ridge Boulevard that nearly swallowed cars.

There will be more to follow as the story develops.

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