VIRAL VIDEO: Collapsed Street May Stay Evacuated For Weeks

By Mario Sevilla

Thu May 1st, 2014 5:34pm America/Los_Angeles

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BALTIMORE (AP) — People who live in houses on a block where the street collapsed during a rainstorm may have to be kept out of their homes for up to 40 days, Baltimore officials said Thursday.

Kevin Harris, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said he did not know how many houses or people are affected by the continued evacuation order in Charles Village. He said city officials will meet with residents Friday morning.

A sidewalk and retaining wall on 26th Street in Baltimore’s Charles Village neighborhood buckled and caved in Wednesday afternoon, swallowing a streetlight and more than half a dozen cars. No one was injured.

William M. Johnson, director of Baltimore’s Department of Transportation, said at a news conference that sonar testing to check the ground’s integrity and a video assessment of the area will begin on Saturday. The street will not reopen before those assessments are completed, he said.

Crews will begin stabilizing the area, a process Johnson said it will take 8 to 10 days.

He said the DOT and the Department of Public Works tested the structural integrity of the site a year ago and found no flaws.

Rawlings-Blake said she wants to find out what went wrong between last year and Wednesday.

Freight rail officials say cargo trains will likely begin running again Thursday evening on a section of track that was buried in the collapse.

CSX Corp. suspended operations Wednesday. A spokeswoman said the landslide caused minimal rerouting and inventory delays.

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(Copyright 2014, KRON 4/AP, All rights reserved.)

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