Increase in sinkholes following heavy rains and flooding

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There has been an increase in sinkholes around the area lately, and you can blame the skies for that.

“In this area where we live, in South Central PA, we have a lot of limestone in the ground. And limestone tends to erode over time through water,” said Greg Penny, PennDOT spokesman.

And with last weeks excessive rain and flooding, the limestone has been exposed to more water than normal.

Eventually the limestone erodes to the point where it collapses, causing a hole as small as the one seen in the video, and that can create a big problem.

“They can collapse and let’s say, take a house or a piece of property. Or if you’re in a vehicle and your driving and there’s a sinkhole and you run into it, it can cause significant injury,” said Penny.

A sinkhole opened up around noon on Monday on Route 30 in East Lampeter Township, Lancaster County, forcing crews to close traffic to one lane while they look into the damage.

“What we’ve done this afternoon is run a camera through the sewer line in the area to see if there’s a break in the sewer line, that checked out. We’re looking at parallel drainage systems right now, that seemed to be checking out,” said Penny.

Crews have been on scene most of the day Monday, securing the area for the work to be done later on.

And while they may pose an inconvenience, Penny says he’s seen much worse.

“Usually when it’s really bad we’re have areas where you start excavating a sink hole and you don’t know where it’s going to end. But so far these have been pretty isolated and manageable,” said Penny.

Penny says the contractor will excavate the sinkhole in the middle of the night to get an idea for how big it is, and the lane will hopefully be open by Tuesday afternoon.

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