PERTH AMBOY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A giant sinkhole opened up Wednesday in New Jersey.

It happened around 7:30 p.m. near the waterfront in Perth Amboy.

Now people who live nearby are worried that more sinkholes could appear.

The giant sinkhole opened up around Wednesday night at around 7:30 p.m. at Gordon Street between Water and Front Streets in Perth Amboy.  Many people take evening strolls down by the water, and you can imagine their surprise when the cement opened up just feet from the sidewalk.

A passerby captured the moments right after the blacktop buckled and posted the video on social media. It quickly caught the attention of Perth Amboy residents.

“We just saw on Facebook yesterday and we got scared. This usually doesn’t happen in our town,” said Perth Amboy resident Antonia Soto. She lives around the corner and came out to see the hole for herself Thursday morning. Soto’s frustrated with the lack of information about what she considers a dangerous situation.

“In this town, this really nice town, they don’t tell you what happened,” she said.

City engineer Jeff Rauch stopped by the site to shed some light on what happened.

“We have an old brick sewer, it’s a single layer of individual bricks that forms the pipe and it collapsed,” he said.

The probably cause, he says, is wear and tear on a sewer system that’s over 100 years old. He’s seen it before.

“Not as large as this, but we’ve had sinkholes develop, small ones and we were able to catch it before it got worse,” he told CBS2’s Tara Jakeway.

None of the sinkholes have resulted in injury or outages so far. But residents worry that could change, saying sinkholes in the area seem to be a persistent problem.

“There was a big sinkhole where we live and they filled it all in and then it happened again, so who knows if this will happen again,” said Fords resident Debbie Governale.

That sinkhole in neighboring Fords occurred earlier this year.

Julio Mendez typically parks on Gordon Street but was working past 10 p.m. Wednesday.

“I came home late. So when I came home from working that’s when I saw the big hole,” he said.

The hole is about 12 feet deep and 11 feet wide.

It’s still unclear just how long Mendez will have to find another place to park. Town officials told Jakeway Gordon Street will remain closed between Water Street and Front Street until the repairs are complete and they’re sure it’s safe.

The Perth Amboy department of public works says water service remains normal in the area and they are not expecting any interruptions.




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