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Sinking Block Prompts Residents To Demand Answers

By Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- For the past year, once level lawns, along the 3500 block of Aldine Street have started to resemble rolling hills. There are at least two holes, no one can determine how deep, along the curb line leading to a hollow void under the street.

Garden walls crack and lean, along with patios and a light pole also leaning at an angle.

"I'd like the city to come out and tell us what's going on," neighbor Lou Pirozek told Eyewitness News.

All together about 14 or 15 properties are impacted, according to Committeeman Milt Martelak.

He says while Philadelphia Water Department Inspectors have visited the block twice in recent months, so far, there are no definitive answers.

Martelak says he and other neighbors are concerned an underground leak is eroding the ground and that cave ins or sinkholes could develop.

One neighbor says he received a notice from the Streets Department ordering him to even out his sidewalk when, in fact, just up the street it clearly tilts up and down.

Responding to Eyewitness News' inquiries, the Water Department sent an email that reads in part, "The Philadelphia Water Department has performed inspections on the homes we were originally notified of. Following those inspections, we found no defects with their private or the public infrastructure. They can contact us and we will return to inspect those properties. If we determine this to be a city-related issue, we will correct it as soon as possible."

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