Water main break creates giant sinkhole in Southeast D.C.

(Photo: Jennifer Donelan)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – A water main break that occurred Wednesday morning created a large sinkhole in the middle of a Southeast D.C. street, closing Stanton Road and shutting off water to its residents.

The 16-inch water main broke—possibly due to extreme heat—around 10:30 a.m. on the 3000 block of Stanton Road, near the intersection with Elvans Road. The gushing water under pressure built up beneath the road’s surface, which collapsed when utility workers shut the water off.

Metro had to stop all bus traffic, because Stanton Road was too dangerous for travel. This created a transportation headache for some commuters.

“I’m tryin’ to get home,” said area resident Jerome Gilreath. “I know the bus wouldn’t bring me up here. I gotta walk up this hill and I’m handicapped.”

There were townhomes on one side of the massive sinkhole and Forest Ridge Apartments on the other. Several residents knew they had no water but didn’t know why, until ABC 7 News showed them a photo of the damage.

“This morning when I got up, the water was fine, but the pressure wasn’t as it usually would be,” said resident Charlotte Snider. “It didn’t dawn on me that something was up.”

The water will be turned back on once the sinkhole has been repaired.

“It don’t seem like they goin’ to fix this right away,” Gilreath said.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m., DC Water said in a tweet that the water main break had been repaired and water service had been restored. Road repair will resume Thursday morning.