FILED IN: House & Home

Pa. family forced to leave home after sinkhole swallows yard

Sinkhole in Pa. forces family to evacuate. Screen shot via NBC Philadelphia.

A Northampton County, Pa. family was forced to evacuate their residence on Sunday morning after one of the occupants, Doris Jenkins, noticed her daughter’s car was parked dangerously close to a sinkhole adjacent to their driveway.

Jenkins told NBC10, “I came around the corner and said, ‘oh my God! My daughter’s car was there. I woke her up and told her to get the car out of there!”

Jenkins noticed the large hole when she set out to walk her dog that morning.

Jenkins, along with her daughter, Inga Jenkins and her granddaughter, Claudia Jenkins, were forced to evacuate their home after fire crews deemed the lot unsafe.

In Bethlehem Township city crews were repairing a broken sewer line which caused a smaller sinkhole in the area. Fire Chief Ron Ford said he’s not sure if the sewer line work caused the sinkhole at the Jenkins’ home or not.

The sinkhole, which last measured about 30 feet wide and 12 feet deep, is part of  larger issue in the Allentown area, which is built on land made up of surface limestone. In areas build upon large swaths of limestone, sinkholes are fairly common.

At this time, only the Jenkins home has been evacuated although the Jenkins say the decision to move out temporarily is largely from the sewer fumes.

Engineers are scheduled to come out to the home on Monday and survey the damage and risk and determine if the sinkhole is repairable.