Thursday, December 18, 2014

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NY1 For You: Astoria Residents Worried By Massive Sinkholes

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One Queens man turned to NY1 after the city failed to fix several sinkholes that had been plaguing his neighborhood for months. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.

Astoria resident Gerald Kanter says a three-foot wide and three-foot deep sinkhole near his house keeps on getting bigger.

"It keeps getting bigger and the rain makes it bigger and bigger," he said.

Even more disturbing, not even 100-feet away is a second sinkhole, which appears to be deeper and wider.

Residents say they have logged complaints with 311 on numerous occasions, but the city has yet to do anything about the sinkholes – which they believe pose a significant hazard to the neighborhood.

"There's no stop light here at the corner and cars some around pretty quickly and they swerve to miss the sinkhole; they almost hit people pedestrians walking across the street," said resident Costa Constantinides. "Cars, when they do hit it, it makes a loud noise. We hear it. My bedroom's right across there and we constantly hear it. And, on top of this, there's the possibility of a young child falling in."

If a child did fall in the hole, it might be hard to find him or her – considering its depth and location.

"This thing's not getting done," said Kanter. "It's not getting fixed and I'm just worried somewhere along the line someone might get hurt, an accident might be caused."

These concerned residents reached out to NY1 for You for help and the station called the Department of Environmental Protection.

A spokeswoman said DEP would send a crew to the location immediately to secure the area by putting up barriers. She said the department would then perform an emergency contract to patch up the area and also reconnect a catch basin. She did not say why it took NY1's call to get the work done.

All the same, residents are relieved action is finally being taken.

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