Crews deal with sinkholes, flooded roads in Lancaster County


Although Saturday was dry, crews spent hours dealing with sinkholes and flooded roads in Lancaster County.

There was a 10-foot deep sinkhole along Route 283 near the Esbenshade Road exit. 

“Somehow it infiltrated, whether through the bottom or top, or maybe even both,” said Jerry Nissley, an assistant highway maintenance manager at PennDOT. “It saturated through the ground, and then it caused the sinkhole to wash out, and then actually the black top came down inside.”

Traffic was backed up as crews worked to fill the hole with dirt. Workers tell us the sinkhole was about 15-feet in diameter, and was likely caused by the rain that has been slamming the Midstate,.

“We’ll have to come back and make a permanent repair on it sometime in the near future,” said Nissley.

There was another sinkhole that opened up just off the highway in the grass.

Meanwhile, Conestoga River waters rose above fences along Pleasure Road in Lancaster. 

“The ground is so saturated, it has nowhere to go, so it doesn’t take long to get flooding at this point,” said Nissley.

Just minutes away on North Conestoga Dive, garbage floated in water that went as high as street signs.

Cars going both northbound and southbound struggled to drive on Route 222, which was also shut down for hours.

PennDOT says about 15 roads in Lancaster County were shut down Saturday morning, including the intersection of Manheim and Fruitville pikes. As the water receded, many roads reopened.

Even as traffic returns to normal, first responders want people to be careful.

“Use common sense,” said Nissley. “If you see water, turn around, don’t drown like they say. Just take your time and wait for it.”

Dispatchers tell us several cars had to be rescued from high waters in Clay Township.

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