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Sinkhole aftermath has residents wondering what’s next

Joel Molina
The hole in the block of Tularosa Avenue and Stevens Street has since been filled.

Residents of a quiet central El Paso neighborhood were awakened around midnight by El Paso Police officers on June 12 after a busted water main lying underneath Tularosa Street opened a massive sinkhole that swallowed two cars.

In the days following the sinkhole’s abrupt opening, many residents questioned their neighborhood’s future. Authorities and water crews worked around the clock to try to stem the flow of water and ensure the residents’ safety.

One resident of the neighborhood said he was awakened at night by police officers and was told he had to leave his house for the night.

“They knocked and rang my doorbell. I answered, and the cops told me I had to leave. The street was a mess. There was water everywhere, and at that moment, I was a bit concerned for my house because you could see right away with all the lights around from vehicles that the hole had swallowed my neighbor’s cars. Luckily, I wasn’t impacted other than getting woken up late,” The concerned neighbor said. “It sucks, you know, being so close to where that happened and seeing two cars in a hole.”

Another neighbor recounted a similar story and expressed gratitude that they were fortunate they didn’t lose anything in the sinkhole.

“The cops came around midnight, woke us up, and told us that a water main had burst, and we had to leave. As we were walking out, you could see the trunk of one of my neighbor’s two cars sticking out of the hole, and we were in shock,” Another concerned neighbor said. “I mean, look at the neighborhood now. The sidewalk is all messed up and lifted pretty significantly in some places.”

Residents say the city finally filled the hole, but now there is a huge uneven lump of dirt right in the middle of their street.

Although crews worked tirelessly, residents wonder what’s next for the neighborhood and when they can expect any news on the water main.

“We haven’t received any calls, letters, or messages from city officials or anybody that was working on the hole to begin with. It’s been a week. If there’s a plan, we don’t know about it,” A resident of the neighborhood said.

Even still, life seems to have returned to normal for many of the residents, especially now that the sinkhole has been filled up.

“I mean, we were lucky other than the late awakening. We have a driveway where we have our cars, so other than the dirt reaching pretty much up to our driveway, we weren’t really affected. I wish I could say the same for my neighbors. They lost two cars.” A Tularosa resident said.

As the dust settles, residents of the neighborhood will have the support of the Red Cross to lean on as they have volunteered to step forward to assist the neighborhood.

The water main has been repaired, and the street, although currently in disarray, “will be repaired so that cars can reach their homes,” according to city officials.

No timetables are available for when repairs to the street will be complete.

Jorge Guajardo is the sports editor and can be reached at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributors
Jorge Guajardo
Jorge Guajardo, Sports Editor
Jorge Ian Guajardo, is 30 years old and born and raised in El Paso. He is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English rhetoric. He is the sports editor for The Prospector looking to lay the foundation for a long and successful career in journalism once he graduates.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Contributor/Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photo contributor and began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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