Unrepaired sinkhole threatens Detroit church

- Many are concerned about a dangerous sinkhole left untouched for months near a Detroit church.

The church says the sinkhole is blocking the back of their building, preventing trash companies from taking away their garbage.

They also fear someone could get hurt if the hole isn't fixed soon.

The sinkhole outside the Bethlehem Judah church on West Chicago and American Drive on Detroit's west side is more than a problem, it's extremely unsafe.

The church has taken matters into its own hands by covering the 5-foot-deep sinkhole with an old door, which Charlie Langton slipped on and almost fell into the hole. It's been there since January 18th when the church called the city to fix it.

"It's very dangerous, and you can see they haven't put any steel plate over it to keep it safe from the community. So anybody who is curious can come over and pull what we've put over it to make it a little more safe," Tamara Howard, an administrator at the church, said.

While there isn't a plate in place, the city did put the sign barricade up, but that was in January. Since then, the hole has grown so much that the church's garbage can't even get picked up.

They can't come out because they're worried about damage to their truck or more damage to the pavement if their truck makes a deeper or wider sinkhole," Howard said.

Now, the garbage is piling up and there are more problems. In the basement of the church, slime has built up on the floor and they say it wasn't there before the sinkhole formed. On Sunday, the church had to turn off the water, which means they can't have their early morning prayer service.

We have to turn the water off [and] we can't use the restroom. It's difficult," Cheryl Micou said.

The city's water department said they appreciate the church and Fox 2 for alerting them. By Tuesday afternoon, a crew was sent to the church to fix the sinkhole.

The city says they want to work with cusomters who have water issues and urge anyone with problems to use the Improve DETROIT mobile app or call 313-267-8000. 

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