Sinkhole Blocks Cul-de-Sac

Jeff Herrera

A sinkhole opened up Wednesday morning, blocking access for an entire cul-de-sac of homes in Santee.

There will be no driving out or in for families living on Williams Court along Pebble Beach Drive. Sidewalks are open but the street is shut down because of a sinkhole spanning the entire width of the road.

A phone call from a neighbor alerted one resident to get up and move his car while he could.

“I jumped out of bed, looked and could see it opening up,” said resident Richard Laspesa. He then jumped into his car and moved it down the street just beyond the sinkhole.

Another one of the lucky ones is Bob Hernandez. He left for breakfast and a trip to Walgreens at 6 a.m. so his car is outside the sinkhole zone.

“We’re just lucky I was out. We don’t know how long the street is going to be like this. Could be awhile,” Hernandez said.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be today or tomorrow,” he said.

Tyler Allen was trying to figure out a way to leave the cul-de-sac for some coffee and cigarettes. He called his boss to tell her he wouldn’t be in to work because of a big sinkhole in the road.

Resident Everett Lawson said it didn’t look like any of his neighbors were angered over the inconvenience.

“If they want their Starbucks they’re going to have to find someone to go get it for them,” Lawson said laughing.

“The only thing you worry about right now is a medical emergency,” said Laspesa noting that no vehicles are able to get in or out of the street.

The rain undermined the road collapsing it on the water main, breaking it.

Children wearing rain coats and holding umbrellas watched as tractors cleared some of the dirt from the sinkhole to begin repairs. The fix could last until Christmas Eve.

A water truck brought fresh water for those residents currently living without water.

The city of Santee owns the storm drain. The water line is owned by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District.

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