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Heavy Rains Reopen Sinkhole On Baltimore's East Monument Street

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- Parts of Maryland are still getting drenched. Thunderstorms dumped up to five to six inches of rain, making it one of the wettest days of 2012.

Derek Valcourt has more on the serious damage it caused.

The storm caused lots of localized flooding, some road closures, even some power outages, and one sinkhole in Baltimore just got a lot worse.

Cell phone cameras captured this funnel in the water off Cobb Island in Charles County during a tornado warning that set of sirens, but it was severe rains that did the real damage, overwhelming streams and gutters, flooding out fields and roads and trapping cars in washed-out streets.

But the power of the rain perhaps is most evident in the 2300-block of E. Monument Street where it nearly doubled the size of a problem sinkhole the city had been dealing with for weeks, stunning neighbors.

"Is everything going to sink? I mean, can I walk down the street right here?" Anthony Fortune said.

Waters ripped away huge chunks of earth and concrete, ripping open the street from one sidewalk to the other, forcing authorities to evacuate a few of the residents living in apartments above some of the closest store fronts.

"The buildings are OK right now. We're hopeful in terms that everything's going to be alright in terms that everything's stable on either side. But we are concerned enough that we had to get people out," Kurt Kocher of the Department of Public Works said.

This hole in the ground is now far worse than the sinkhole that first opened up here a month ago.

Crews had temporarily filled the hole so that they could begin to repair the ruptured drainage pipe 40 feet below the ground that caused the problem to begin with.

Closed sidewalks are now devastating to the 36 businesses along the street who say they've already lost a financial fortune.

"People have to live and eat off of what we are doing here. And with the street being cut off, there's no foot traffic. It's been rough. It's pretty rough," Curtis Anderson of the Monument Street Merchants Association said.

It will be months before that sinkhole is repaired and the road reopened. Crews will be out on Monday trying to shore up that hole and evaluate the safety of the sidewalks.

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