Full water service restored at site of massive sinkholes in Harrisburg

Full water service was restored Tuesday afternoon after many residents of the 2100 block of N. 4th Street spent a week away from home. Massive sinkholes developed New Year’s Eve, due to aging infrastructure, forcing many people to say with friends and family or seek help from the American Red Cross.

“Being able to brush your teeth in the morning, or take a shower, that makes life a little more pleasant for me and those around me,” said Wendy Graham, who cam home to find a notice on her door alerting her the water service was restored.

Being away from home has been a concern for her, as some neighbors have had things stolen from their homes during this ordeal.

A second environmental test revealed Tuesday afternoon there was no bacteria, meaning it was safe to drink without having to be boiled.

Harrisburg City Council plans to hold a hearing Monday on the sinkhole issue. Councilors Brad Koplinski and Sandra Reid are inviting city officials, the Harrisburg Authority and UGI. They’re aiming to find out more about the cost of this recent issue plus what can be done to address other sinkholes throughout the city.

“We’re trying to put together a plan for the receiver, the receiver’s putting together a plan. The sewer infrastructure could blow a hole in that,” said Koplisnki.

While city officials still don’t have a clear figure for how much the sinkholes on N. 4th Street will cost, Councilor Sandra Reid said she expects other services could be impacted by it.

“We may have to curtail, maybe some street cleaning, maybe revisit some of the way we do it. Instead of cleaning twice a month, it may be curtailed back to once a month so that we can continue to do things,” said Reid.

She added the city is looking at outside funding options. She said the sinkholes don’t qualify as a natural disaster, but the city may be able to tap into environmental grants.

Crews will continue to work for several weeks installing new permanent sewer and water lines and repairing the road.