Ola Oni said she was about to leave for work at 5 a.m. but had not gotten in her car yet when it suddenly fell into the hole.
“It could have happened to me, I am lucky, I’m happy,” Oni said. “In this kind of neighborhood, I don’t think this should happen.”
She gestured toward the hole. “Look at this, this neighborhood is in danger.”
When Laide Giwa set off for work Thursday morning, a deep hole had opened next to her parked Dodge Charger. A truck and a car were already in the hole. Giwa, 57, ran inside to call police.
Forty-five minutes later, after firemen had arrived and told her not to move her car, Giwa watched as the hole swallowed her car too.
“I was really upset,” Giwa said. “I’m looking at my car going in the hole.”
A similar breach caused a sinkhole on the Northwest Side near Elston and Foster avenues in 2011, Powers said. He placed the blame on Chicago’s aging infrastructure rather than the heavy rains.
“What happened at both locations was a nearly hundred-year-old water main broke. And the water that was in that water main continues to run. It’s under pressure,” Powers said.”And at the same time the water main broke, it breached old sewer as well, at both locations, washed out the street, washed out all the soil. And the pavement couldn’t even handle it’s own weight any more, let alone the three cars sitting on top of it.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made the city’s aging water system a priority, pushing through water rate hikes to fund replacement of the pipes.