Giant sinkhole forms in Austin after heavy rain

Giant sinkhole forms in Austin after heavy rain

A large sinkhole has developed in Northwest Austin, in the 10800 block of Sierra Blanca Street, Austin police said. That road will be shut down for days until it can be repaired. (www.Statesman.com)

AUSTIN — Residents in an Austin, Texas, neighborhood woke up to a sinkhole on their road that had developed overnight as rain pounded the city.

Around 9 p.m., Austin police reported that a sinkhole had formed and said the road would be shut down for days until it could be repaired. Authorities aren’t sure whether the hole was caused by the rain, but noted that the street where it formed had been hit with heavy rainfall.

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“The street is closed to motor vehicle traffic right now,” Carolyn Perez, the public affairs manager for the Austin Public Works Department, said Saturday morning. “We’re asking people not to move the barricade. … We’re asking for the public’s consideration.”

Perez said she estimated the hole was 6 feet deep and 6 feet wide.

“It’s a sizable hole,” she said. “We would not want someone to drive there and not realize it’s there. It’s at the bottom of a slight hill and you won’t see it until you’re right up on it, especially at night.”

Perez said the department was working with police to keep people off the street. She said a fence would be put up around the hole. An engineer from the department will inspect the hole later Saturday to determine what caused it and how long repairs will take.

“Luckily this is a quiet street, a quiet neighborhood and not a major arterial,” she said. “So we don’t expect it’ll be a major inconvenience.”