Car falls in sinkhole caused by water main break

Residents told to boil water

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – About 500 residents were without water and power Monday night after what began as a small break along a water main turned into a sinkhole that nearly swallowed a car.

By Tuesday morning, power was restored, but but residents were being told they'll have to boil their water until further notice.

Crews worked into the night digging out of a watery mess. And it seems it's all due to the effects of an aging water main that gave way on the corner of 85th Street and Crespi Boulevard on Miami Beach.

"I was on the phone and I saw the guy and I saw the vehicle, and I thought it was something else," said nearby resident, David Ortiz. "When I got closer, I saw the car standing up and I was like wow."

It was reported that a driver came to a stop at the intersection west of Harding Avenue when the street gave way.

Once crews pumped the water out, they discovered two cracks along the water main. The bad break is latest example of pipes breaching on the beach.

"They put a pipe, they fix it," said Ortiz. "Do it again, and they go to the next street and do it again. Its been like that for the past four years."

The city has spent months making infrastructure improvements to the area.

For more than a year, roads have been torn up and new sidewalks put in place. In fact, two projects are underway across the street from where the sink hole is at.

"In some cases it's marked off so a car can't drive into it, but a resident can walk into it," said resident Don Fedder. "It's just a mess."

As crews worked to cap the leak, residents were left without water, told they'd have to boil it once it comes back.

Roswitha Geisheim said she's inconvenienced. "My son came home from work and wanted to shower and he can't. He's going to have to wait until the water is turned back on and we don't know when that will be."

"I wanted to speak to someone who was in charge, to find out what exactly was going on," said resident Lois Cecora. "If it's going to be within two to four hours, then they need to let us know so we can make arrangements."