West Tuolumne Rd Sinkhole Declared Emergency by Turlock City Manager Michael Cooke.
The Sinkhole that was discovered December 5th in the medium of Tuolumne between Goldenstate Blvd and Tully Rd has made the Interim City Manager Michael Cooke officially declare a state of emergency, an action reaffirmed by Council 5-0 on December 10ths City Council meeting.
“Thankfully there were no incidents, no injuries, no accidents” Stated Nathan Bray the Director of Development Services and City Engineer “We are still evaluating the extent and the cause of this emergency.”
Nathan Bray gave the City Council a full update of the current assessment of the damages stating “as of right now the damage appears to be localized in that area, roughly a 100′ section of pipe.” The current reported size of the sinkhole is 20′ wide, 40′ long and 15′ deep. Municipal services will work with the contractors to inspect the up and downstream sections of the sewage line to ensure there is not more uncovered damage. They are currently having to hire a sewage damage cleanup company to properly deal with the sewage that has leaked out already so if there is any more damage uncovered, the cleanup will be made more challenging.
Construction workers and neighboring residents reported on December 10th strong odors of Natural Gas, prompting immediate cease of construction. Turlock Fire responded along with PG&E to inspect and canvas the area with “gas sniffers” and found no traces of a gas leak, with the exception of the immediate area of the incident where normal sewer gases were detected. “Our[City] Staff and PG&E staff felt rest assured there was no issues associated with any gas leaks” reports Bray.
In the report given to the council Bray assured that municipal services will be tv monitoring, and cleaning similar lines throughout turlock on a new service plan, and implied that the cause may have been from sulfuric acid buildup caused by the reaction between sewer gases and the microorganisms in the sewage.
Tuolumne is expected to reopen on Friday December 20th with new sewage pipe, road and curb, assuming more damage and erosion is not discovered.