3 homes condemned after Bethlehem street caves

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Three homes have been condemned and the surrounding blocks were evacuated after a street began to cave in Bethlehem, Pa. (WPVI)

Three homes have been condemned and the surrounding blocks were evacuated after a street began to cave in Bethlehem, Pa.

The affected area centers around the 700 block of North New Street, less than half a mile from the town's historic district.

"It's a cause for concern. I'm concerned about where the sinkhole ends," said Pat Delluva, who was evacuated on Thursday morning.

She said she has lived on New Street for many years and has never seen anything like this.

It all started early Thursday when neighbors called the city after gas filled the air.

"When we got out here we found there's voids below the street cause gas lines and water lines to break," said city engineer Matt Dorner.

Once city engineers realized several portions of the ground below were eroding, a three block radius was evacuated.

"We have a company out doing some ground penetrating radar to check what the extent of the voids are before we can say it's safe," said Dorner.

City officials say this isn't one giant sinkhole. Rather, the ground underneath the road broke apart in separate areas, and that's why the piping underneath broke in several sections.

It might take a little while to get everything patched up.

"It's definitely a tough situation we are trying to work as quickly as we can," said Dorner.

The good news is city officials say the erosion is under control, and neighbors are being asked to have patience.

Some people have been let back into their homes, but the 700 block is still closed off while the work continues.

As for the people who unfortunately had their homes condemned, they'll have to wait until the city can get inside to inspect what needs to be fixed.
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newspennsylvania newsBethlehem
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