Plans in the works to stabilize sinkhole in Burlington County

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Plans in the works to stabilize sinkhole in Burlington Co. Nora Muchanic reports during Action News at 6 on May 2, 2017. (WPVI)

It's been almost two years since the land behind these homes on Front Street in Florence, Burlington County started collapsing.

The landslide forced the evacuation of two families and now Burlington County is moving to stabilize the sinkhole before it can creep out to the road.

"The concern is if the erosion continued it could threaten our county road, which would encourage greater expense to our taxpayers and the taxpayers of Florence," said Burlington Co. Spokesman Eric Arpert.

Since the summer of 2015, Burlington County has spent almost $1 million to secure the area and purchase two homes immediately adjacent to the eroding cliff. Chris O'Dell and his wife Lynne were forced to move.

"I'm looking forward to a conclusion and being able to move on with my life. At the same time I do not want to leave my home, so it's tough," said Lynne.

The county has now developed plans to stabilize the hill and stop any more of it from sliding into the Delaware River.

Arpert says, "The plan is to build a structure about two thirds of the way down to re-sloped the entire slope that you see here, regrade the slope you see here, and then stabilize it permanently through vegetation.

County spokesman Arpert says the design and permitting is complete and work on the eroding property could begin this summer.

"I hope they do because I'd like to stay here, but the way it is, who knows?" said Janet Griffith of Florence, New Jersey.

Griffith lives on one side of the empty houses, and John Kent lives on the other side.

"The house being empty there doesn't help anybody, and you know if they're going to clean it up and put a wall in, that's great," said Kent.

Action News spoke by phone with Lynne Odell. She and her husband Chris, moved to the Poconos after they left here.

She said she'll always have the emotional scars of being forced out of her home, but is glad to hear there's movement to stabilize the eroding cliff.
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