Large sinkhole opens in Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County

Posted: 3:38 PM EST Dec 24, 2013   Updated: 8:52 AM EST Nov 11, 2013

A family in Lower Macungie got the scare of a lifetime on Sunday, and captured it all on video.

"That was pretty scary. Actually, Dan, my fiance saw it from our house and I went outside to get it quickly on video. It was happening pretty quickly," said Diana Vargas, who videotaped the sinkhole.

Vargas and Dan Witczak live in the 1300 block of Highland Court, the scene of a sinkhole Sunday afternoon.

Hours before the street caved in, Vargas said she heard a loud noise.

"This morning, I woke up to hear a large thud around 6:30 a.m.," Vargas said.

Nearly a half hour later, Vargas and her fiance got their second clue that something wasn't right--their water wasn't running.

"I drove around looking for any water coming out of the ground because we had no water," Witczak said.

Minutes after scouting the neighborhood, Witczak found clue number three.

"What five minutes ago was a flat road, had a divot in it. I thought, that's odd," Witczak said.

The couple then contacted the Lehigh County Authority. Workers arrived at their home just before 8 a.m.

"Then as soon as they got one of their equipment trucks, they made a hole and a bucket went right in," Vargas said.

It was around 1 p.m. Sunday when the couple started to notice a crack forming around a hole in their street. Seconds later, the pavement caved in.

"It was pretty loud when the asphalt fell into the hole," Witczak said.
"Probably a 20-foot sink hole," Vargas said.

Residents said a water-main break caused the sinkhole.

Vargas and Witczak are thankful noone was injured and cars weren't damaged in the incident.

They are also grateful they were prepared.

"So relieved we have sinkhole insurance. My fiance was very intellIgent and smart enough to purchase that, which I understand, not many have," Vargas said.

Witczak said he purchased the sinkhole insurance after seeing stories in the news.

The couple said the Lehigh County Authority provided it and several other nearby homes with a temporary water system. The affected homes are under a boil water advisory for the time being.

The affected part of the road is also closed until crews can stabilize the sinkhole.

While the couple did not notice any immediate foundation or flooding issues, it is aware of some potential problem areas.

The couple pointed out several divots on their front lawn that weren't present prior to the sinkhole.

"Concerning to us, because our lawn has had several, when you walk on it, there are a couple-feet sections of little dips," Vargas said.

Crews are expected to continue cleanup efforts on Monday morning.