Residents concerned for their safety after sinkhole collapses in Moxham

Heavy rain Thursday and Friday took a toll on Clover Street, causing one sinkhole to collapse Friday night. (WJAC)

JOHNSTOWN -- Heavy rainfall from the past two days caused heavy damage across Cambria County.

Residents are complaining about a safety hazard in the Moxham section of the city, where a sinkhole collapsed Friday night.

But some say this is nothing new.

We first brought you this story last week, after residents said they were fed up with sinkholes and potholes up and down their street.

It’s not a problem that the city didn't know about.

City Council members Charlene Stanton and Jack Williams sent a letter to city manager Arch Liston on May 30 with their concerns.

Then we aired a story on June 7 and nothing has been done.

That's why residents say this sinkhole could have been prevented.

It's not a new issue for residents on Clover Street in the Moxham section of Johnstown, who say they've been dealing with sinkholes and potholes for years.

But the heavy rain Thursday and Friday really took a toll on the road, causing one sinkhole to collapse Friday night.

David Clifton assessed the damage Saturday afternoon, but Friday night he said rats crawled out of the hole and there was water flowing underneath the street.

He said the city doesn't care.

"Nobody wants to do anything about it,” Clifton said. “And it's not like it hasn't been reported. You can see the patches and cracks all the way up and down. And it kind of just undermined underneath it and washed away all the stability and it collapsed."

Council members Charlene Stanton and Jack Williams sent a letter to the city manager with their concerns on May 30.

And Stanton said their concerns were obviously dismissed as irrelevant, as the only response was the road will be paved when sewage project happens over the next two years.

On Saturday, Stanton and Williams sent a second letter saying the city has an obligation to provide for the safety of its residents. And the lack of concern and investigation into these sinkholes is inexcusable.

She said this collapse could have been tragic.

"This is a tight little community down here,” Clifton said. “And you might have relatives that live on each side of the street. And what happens if one of these little kids decides to run across the street to see grandma or grandpa, and next thing you know they get swallowed by a sinkhole."

As a disabled veteran, Clifton said he's concerned for his safety and the safety of his grandson, who's staying with him for the summer.

"Patches are well and good, but somebody who knows what they're doing about construction and that type of thing, that's like putting a Band-Aid on a gashing wound,” Clifton said. “You gotta fix it."

Liston said crews will be out Monday to repair the sinkhole.

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