Man rescued from sinkhole in north Clovis

The corner of Clovis and Chennault Avenues were blocked off Monday morning while City of Clovis employees worked to fix a broken water main, the supposed cause of a sinkhole that happened between 3 and 4 a.m. PHOTO BY KELSEY LESTER-PERRY/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

On Monday, Jan. 7 a sinkhole opened up on the corner of Clovis and Chennault Avenues in front of Cottonwood Grove apartments.

City staff was notified of a car that was stuck in a flooded area and the Clovis Police Department responded at approximately 4:30 a.m. to find a vehicle and driver stuck in a large, flooded hole in the roadway, according to a City of Clovis press release.

Clovis police were able to tether his car and retrieved him safely from the sinkhole.

City of Clovis utility staff arrived shortly after to assess the damage and begin emergency repairs.

It was “determined that the hole and flooding were likely due to a ruptured water main and not related to the weekend rain showers,” according to city officials.

Excavation found an approximately 10-foot long crack on the bottom of the 12-inch water main.

The damaged section of pipe has been removed and a new section of pipe has been installed.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. the water was shut off to the impacted area for repairs, however, all water services are now back on.

As far as traffic is concerned: the northbound travel lanes on Clovis Avenue were opened to through traffic at about 1:00 p.m., however, both southbound travel lanes are still closed as City staff work to remove saturated material and backfill with suitable fill, according to the release.

One of the southbound lanes on Clovis Avenue is expected to reopen this evening.

City officials estimate that all repairs will be completed by Jan. 11.

Residents are encouraged to avoid the area if possible until the road is completely opened to traffic.

This isn’t the first time Clovis has been the victim of a sinkhole the intersection of Clovis and Herndon Avenues suffered the same fate back in November of 2017, also due to a busted water main.

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Kelsey Lester-Perry
Kelsey is an award-winning reporter from San Jose who recently moved to Clovis. Her previous work experiences includes the Spartan Daily, La Voz Weekly, and the Gilroy Patch.