Jack McGough couldn’t believe it when a sinkhole opened right outside his fishing supply store, The Tackle Box, in Lorain Borough.
“It was about eight or nine feet deep. You could see the gas mains down there, the water mains,” said McGough.
He said the sinkhole started out as a dip in the road, when it caved in Thursday evening.
“It collapsed even more. So, I pulled the barricade out, reset it up, trying to keep cars on Ohio Street from falling into it,” McGough said.
PennDOT Cambria County Manager Jeffrey Mitchell said the sinkhole was caused by a collapsing mine shaft, which isn’t uncommon in the area. However, Mitchell didn’t know exactly what caused this specific sinkhole.
“It could be any other things. We’ve had a lot of issues with water this year, just because of the amount of rain and moving soils and dirt,” Mitchell said.
McGough and other neighbors in the area said this isn’t the first time there’s been a sinkhole in the area. There’s an old mine shaft underneath the road that caved in years ago.
“It happened in the parking lot out here before. They had to dig down to the mine shaft, down below, which was about 30 feet,” McGough said.
Crews shut down Ohio Street between Oakland Avenue and Bentwood Avenue to repair the sinkhole. First, crews had to cut the gas line, before they could start digging up the broken roadway and clearing debris.
“We’ll line it with a geo-textile material, fabric. Then we’ll start with larger rock and just neck it down until we get something small, then eventually get it patched out,” Mitchell said. “This is a fairly major thoroughfare coming into the city. There is a lot of traffic on it and we have businesses that are affected, so we want to get it reopen as quick as we can.”
The repair could take a few hours or a few days. McGough plans to keep The Tackle Box open in the meantime, but he hopes they fix the sinkhole soon.
“It’s definitely going to hurt my business. My weekends are my busiest time,” he said.
While McGough waits, he’s staying positive and keeping his shop open so customers can enjoy their weekend on the water.
“I’m just glad nobody got hurt. That’s the big thing,” McGough said. “Nobody fell into it. Nobody got hurt. Now, all we got to do is repair it.”