Sinkhole off south loop growing larger

HOUSTON - Crews continue working on a large sinkhole off the 610 south loop near Holt to patch up the expanding hole in southwest Houston, but it's going to take longer than expected.

The massive hole is now 30 feet wide and 15 feet deep, according to officials.

"We figured out with the heavy rain last weekend, it increased the capacity of the line and that's what caused this," Ramon Torres, T-Construction Foreman, the company working on the pipe, told Local 2.

Workers said the heavy rain and strong storms on Saturday caused the problem and that it is going to be difficult to fix.

"The rain water started getting into the sewer line and the line got over capacity, causing damage like this," said Torres.

Robert Moore works next door at Global Electronics. He said the huge hole is blocking the entrance to the business, which is creating a problem.

"We're probably going to expect a 65 percent decrease due to individuals detouring because of the pothole. It will decrease our customer base," said Moore.

On Tuesday morning, crews shut down one lane of the 610 eastbound feeder road while they worked on the problem.

Property owner Tony Patronella initially placed a box and a clothing rack from a store on the property next to the hole to act as a barrier and prevent anyone from venturing toward the hole. But the box and rack were both swallowed by the hole as it grew. When he called officials,  the sinkhole was about the size of a manhole cover. By 8 p.m. Monday, it had grown to about 15 feet deep and 8-10 feet in diameter.

Crews on Tuesday placed a red dye into the hole to find out exactly where the line is leaking. They said it could take a couple of weeks for them to assess the situation to know if they can fix the line or if they will have to remove it entirely.

One lane of the eastbound road remains closed.

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