Sinkhole swallows car in Albany

August 02, 2016 05:48 PM

ALBANY - South Lake Avenue in Albany opened up and swallowed a car Tuesday morning.

Crews were working late Tuesday afternoon to close the sinkhole and pull the SUV out of it.

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NewsChannel 13 found the Albany Med student who parked his car in what now is a huge hole.

“My landlord just knocked on the door and said, ‘Come outside, there’s something you need to see,” explained Steeve Pierre.

Water Commissioner Joe Coffey calls this a classic sinkhole. An eight inch blow off valve on a 42 inch main failed. There was so much pressure it blew up a manhole. And it all collapsed into the sewer

“Essentially what you had is you had water under a lot of pressure open up into a structure that it just blew the structure apart,” explained Coffey.

It's been a headache for Coffey.

It took hours to turn off valves installed in 1931 to stop the water. It took National Grid awhile to turn off a gas line in the hole. Eventually the sidewalk collapsed. And an electrical pole that's barely standing up had to be secured.

“Once the energy’s out of the hole, we can take the car out. We can start fixing it. It’s going to be a big repair,” acknowledged Coffey.

Piere ended up walking to the white coat ceremony at Albany Med. he says he hopes somebody pays for his sunken car.

“I parked the car and it went underground when I woke up. Streets are not supposed to cave in,” pointed out Pierre.

There's no estimate on a cost to fix the hole or an estimate on when it will be done.


WNYT Staff

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