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Large sinkhole appears on Detroit’s east side

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Detroit — Officials are on the scene of an apparent sinkhole early Friday on the city's east side.

The cave-in is around 8 feet wide and 8 feet deep, blocking the intersection of Seymour and Maccrary streets, east of Gratiot and McNichols, said Curtrise Garner, spokeswoman for the city’s Water and Sewerage Department.

“We got the call around 3 a.m., and we got out there about 15 minutes later,” Garner said. “We’re investigating a possible water main break and also investigating the sewer.”

Crews most likely will complete any water main repairs later Friday, but fixes to the sewer could take another day or two, Garner said.

Several workers from the department blocked the intersection early Friday with three work vans and police tape. The street closure should be the only affect to area residents, Garner said.

“The water is fine,” she said.

The street closure interferes with a heavily trafficked route, said Al Vietzke, leader of a nearby church.

"Seymour is very heavily traveled; there are buses running back and forth every day," said Vietzke, an elder at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church at Seymour and Chalmers, two blocks west of the sinkhole. "This is a main thoroughfare between Kelly and Gratiot."

Vietzke said signs of the sinkhole appeared last winter.

"The sinkhole started off about eight months ago as just a big bump," he said.

Garner said sinkholes are not unusual during the summer months, as underground pipes expand and contract with rising temperatures.

“It’s just weather-related,” she said. “Mother Nature is going to do what she does, and we’re going to have to respond to it.”

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