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Large sinkhole swallows car after water main break in Youngstown

The break happened early Monday morning on Midlothian Boulevard and Newport Square

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) - A driver found himself stuck in a large sinkhole, which opened up as he was pulling into a Youngstown Burger King.

Officials with the city's water department estimated that the sinkhole was one of the biggest that they've seen in the area. They cited the fluctuating weather as the likely cause.

"In the rainy weather, after it has been cold, a lot of snow starts melting. The ground gets heavy from the water," said Joe Dunlap, superintendent of construction for the water department.

Dunlap said once the water seeps into the ground, it eventually surfaces, pushing all of the dirt up to the top, creating a void.

Monday's water main break happened around 3 a.m., causing water to bubble up from the Burger King entrance on Midlothian Boulevard. Witnesses say a man driving a Jeep drove through the water when the ground opened up.

His car sank several feet into the ground but was eventually lifted out.

Crews spent most of the morning and afternoon trying to fix the pipe. Burger King remained opened and water service wasn't interrupted.

Dunlap said it's important to keep your eye out for other signs of water breaks in the area. Signs may be decreased water pressure and water ponding where it shouldn't be.

If you do see something unusual, call the water department at (330) 742-8749.


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