Kingston, New York. 16th August 2012

Washington Avenue sinkholes disrupt everyday life for residents

As crews assess the three Washington Avenue sinkholes ahead of repair Thursday, water was shut off for several hours to houses and businesses. As YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt tells us, the issue is really affecting the quality of life for homeowners.

“Certainly a big inconvenience,” said Washington Avenue resident Dr. Cy Gruberg.

And Cy Gruberg says having his water shut off to his Washington Avenue home has not only caused inconvenience, but has affected his everyday life as well.

“Brushing your teeth, showering, etc.,” said Gruberg.

And it’s not the first time it’s happened.

“This is the second time or perhaps the third that we’ve been notified that water would be off from 8 a.m. to noon,” said Gruberg.

The city’s water department says shutting off the water was necessary so that crews could assess the sinkholes.

“We’re going to insert our sewer camera down into the shaft so that we can take a look to see what the current conditions are,” said City of Kingston Engineer Ralph Swenson.

That information will help crews develop a Health and Safety Plan ahead of the $1.6 million repair. It’s a project that has residents extremely concerned.

“The residents are very concerned about the possibility of having to evacuate their homes,” said Gruberg.

But Mayor Shayne Gallo says the city’s doing everything they can to avoid that.

“There’s been no discussion of condemning any property, there’s been no discussion at this point of evacuation,” said City of Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo.

But residents say they are still fed up with the mess, the road blocks, the detours and having their water shutoff.

Crews say the water department will be putting in a temporary service line for residents next week, so they will no longer have to go without water. But as far as the sinkhole repairs go, it’s unknown how long the operation will take.

“The whole contractor process, it takes time, signing contracts, getting insurance and the Health and Safety Plan,” said Swenson.

“I do know some of my neighbors and they’re not happy campers,” said Gruberg.

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