Santa Fe, New Mexico. October 10th, 2013.

santafe 310-10 at 5.44.15 PM

What started as a small leak that nobody could see, grew and grew until it became a big problem that nobody could ignore.

And it left dozens of Santa Fe residents without water, power or a way to get around their neighborhood.

“Oh, look at all the water,” said Tanya Frank.

A six-foot deep sinkhole at the intersection of Camino Sierra Vista and Onate left around 50 homes and a hair salon without water.

“I just got that far and I could see the water just gushing. It was just amazing. It was like a nightmare. It was like a sci-fi movie,” describes Dolores Martinez.

A 12-inch water main burst, pushing water up to the surface, creating cracks in the pavement, until it gave out.

Santa Fe Emergency Management says hundred year old pipes and a dip in temperatures can bring the possibility of sinkholes.

“It’s difficult to prevent. It can be very expensive and disruptive to replace all the water mains,” said Andrew Phelps with SF Em. Management.  “A lot of times it’s looking for smaller leaks before they become huge eruptions.”

“It is pretty scary especially if you’re trying to drive by, are you going to sink? is it going to collapse,” said Frank.

Phelps says terrifying images out of Florida of a resort being devoured aren’t likely to be seen here.

“That’s an issue in wetter climates you see a lot in Florida where it’s closer to sea level,” said Phelps. “The water table is a little bit different. So we really don’t have those types of sinkholes right here.”

Power was also shut off in part of the area.

Repair crews hope to have the water restored early in Wednesday morning.

The city says this is a good opportunity to remind people to have an emergency plan in place that includes having three days’ worth of water.Santafe2013-1 Santafe2013-2

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