Crews continue work to repair Irondequoit sinkhole; Man who pulled motorist from hole speaks

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. — The Monroe County department of transportation has been working all day to fix the sinkhole on St. Paul Boulevard, just down the road from the Seneca Park Zoo entrance.

When the hole opened up, it swallowed a car that had been driving on St. Paul Boulevard.

Monroe County Department of Transportation crews have been working since 6 a.m. to repair the sinkhole on St. Paul Boulevard and Covington Road near a crosswalk. At around 6 p.m., crews were still excavating some of the pipes below the hole, to confirm what problem caused it to open in the first place.

The emergency contract team is expected to be working to fill things up and get the road drivable again well into the evening — and likely Thursday morning, too. After that, they’ll lay down sidewalk and asphalt to get things looking back to normal.

The DOT crew on site said it’s likely that the storm water drain failed. This area in particular got about three and a half inches of rain in three hours early this morning, which the DOT crew says is too much for the storm drain system.

When this hole opened up, one car went straight in, and another crashed into a nearby pole.

The man who helped pull the driver out of the sinkhole lives nearby and said he heard two crashes. After he came over to look, he said his actions were fueled by adrenaline.

“​The first thing i noticed was there was a lady in a pole and she was telling me ‘lady in the ground, lady’ and I didn’t know what she meant. The lady in the pole had a broken hand, and when I went to tend to her I looked over to my right and saw a head pop out of the ground,” Anthony DeSalvo said.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello stopped by to thank DeSalvo for what he did in the morning.

The injuries sustained by both drivers are not serious.

A crew member said he has never seen a sinkhole in the Rochester area in his 30 years with the state’s Department of Transportation. Sinkholes form when storm water or water from a drainage pipe leaks under the road. Crews are working to fill the sinkhole with stone, as if they’re building an entirely new road.

Marla Esposito, a resident of the area, said it was shocking to see the sinkhole.

“Who would ever think that the ground is going to open up underneath you and especially for that, I think it was a woman, in the middle of the night when it’s dark. And she’s driving her car and goes into the ground,” Esposito said.

Also Wednesday morning, a car became trapped in a puddle just before the underpass on North Union Street near Augusta Street. The car had to be towed away.

The storms that began overnight brought 2-4 inches and flooding in parts of the city, Greece, Irondequoit, Gates, and Chili.

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