Engineers seek cause of sinkhole swallowing homes in Allentown
Eight families displaced by hole that opened Saturday
Engineers are trying to figure out what caused a sinkhole to open beneath a row of homes in Allentown.
The engineers hope a high-tech camera will help them find the source of the problem on North Fifth Street.
Meanwhile, eight displaced families are staying with relatives and wondering what is going to happen to their homes.
No one knows exactly how large the sinkhole is that opened up Saturday.
"Fifty-four years, 1958 we came here," said resident Stephen Miklus, adding that he can't believe what has happened to his neighborhood. "Saturday morning, I wanted to get out and get the newspaper. I couldn't open the inside door."
When his family finally got outside, Miklus said they saw huge cracks and heard the sound of water.
A sinkhole developed under 820-1/2 N. 5th St., but it will be some time before they know how bad the situation is.
"The engineer is going through all of the properties individually to ascertain the level of damage," said Capt. John Christopher, Allentown Fire Dept.
The engineering firm that handled a sinkhole on 10th Street last year has been hired to examine this one, said city officials.
The examination will include the use of a state-of-the-art robotic camera.
"It's a long cable that is fed the reel and they basically snake it through the hole to see and get the measurement that way," said Christopher.
While structural and geotechnical engineers did their work Monday, residents like Miklus stood outside watching.
"I think, eventually, we will get back in. I don't know when because they said it's not that bad, my house," said Miklus.
A few of the residents said they are frustrated because, while they do have homeowners' insurance, they don't have sinkhole coverage.
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