NEW ORLEANS – What started out as a small bubbling water leak turned into a massive geyser that sent chunks of asphalt flying into houses and opened a huge hole in an Uptown street.
Erin Holmes and her neighbors noticed a four foot sinkhole open up on Aline Street near Tchoupitoulas Street on May 15 around 7 p.m.
Within minutes, the hole doubled in size, and a geyser of water erupted through the street.
“The house that took the brunt on the water was undergoing renovation and only had the facade,” Holmes said. “The two houses on either side experienced asphalt shrapnel from the sinkhole, but I don’t think there was any real damage because they were able to close their shutters.”
After an initial call to the Sewerage and Water Board, Holmes said she dialed 911 when she became concerned that the spewing water would hit overhead electrical wires.
By 8:30 p.m., crews had arrived on the scene and cut off water to the surrounding houses.
“So we were all out of water, and when it came back on, it was debris-filled sludge coming out of all faucets and toilets,” Holmes said. “It finally ran clear this morning.”
While the geyser has been contained and there doesn’t seem to be any lasting damage, Holmes said she and her neighbors are concerned that the street will open up again soon.
“The hole was essentially filled with dirt and sand,” she said. “I have no idea what they repaired under there, but I’m not sure how long this dirt patch will hold.”