Sinkhole forms at 10th S. and Summit

New Ulm utilities workers check out the sinkhole on 10th South and Summit Street caused by a sewer main break.

New Ulm utilities workers check out the sinkhole on 10th South and Summit Street caused by a sewer main break.

NEW ULM–A sinkhole was discovered Saturday afternoon near the intersection of 10th South Street and Summit. A three-foot section of roadway collapsed due to erosion caused by a sewer main break.

The hole was discovered around 2 p.m. by eight-year-old Charlie Weidman and nine-year-old Rhett Melby. The two were walking on 10 South Street near Summit when they came across the sinkhole. Both boys thought this was unusual and immediately told Charlie’s 11-year-old brother Will about it.

“I thought it would turn out to be nothing, but when I got here I saw there was a huge hole,” Will said.

The three boys realized this was a safety concern. The hole was located in a blind spot. A driver coming through the intersection would never notice the hole until it was too late. In order to alert drivers to the problem the kids stood around the hole to block traffic and prevent further damage.

Eventually they were able to flag down a driver who was able to call the police. Law enforcement barricaded the area surrounding the hole and contacted the Street Department.

(Left to right) Charlie Weidman, Will Weidman and Rhett Melby stand by the sinkhole they discover Saturday afternoon. The three boys blocked traffic from the hole until police arrived.

(Left to right) Charlie Weidman, Will Weidman and Rhett Melby stand by the sinkhole they discover Saturday afternoon. The three boys blocked traffic from the hole until police arrived.

At this time the Street Department believes Flandrau’s force main broke causing sewage build up beneath the road. This caused the road to giveaway.

The Street’s Department will need to dig up the main in order to repair it. The project is estimated to take a full day.

The overall damage caused by the main was relatively minor. Thanks to the quick thinking of the three boys no one was injured and no further damage occurred.

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