PEMBROKE, N.Y. (WIVB)– It all started Sunday at 6:30 a.m., when a homeowner noticed a few cracks in his driveway. With the lack of precipitation this summer, the Nati family thought it was just dry — until later in the day, when the doors wouldn’t close in the house and the foundation started to crack.
On Sunday, the Town of Pembroke deemed the house unfit for occupancy and the family had to collect their belongings out of their home.
“I feel so sad for them,” said Norma Balcerzrk, the family’s next door neighbor. “They worked and worked to build it — they just got it complete — and now it’s crumbling.”
The house itself was built in 2011, and has been a home for the Nati family ever since. With the help of the Crittenden Volunteer Fire Department, they saved majority of their belongings.
“It’s just horrible,” said Allan Piasecki, the Fire Chief of Crittenden Volunteer Fire Department. “I know he’s having a problem with insurance at this point and it’s just a horrible situation.”
The cause of these cracks and fault lines are still under investigation, and many residents nearby are wondering if the quarry a mile down the road has any correlation with them.
“It’s been booms, shaking vibrations and this has been going on for at least five to seven days,” said Balcerzk. “We thought at one time it might have been County Line Stone, but they blast at 11. But this was happening periodically, all day and at night. I heard a boom this morning when I was sleeping.”
Pembroke’s Town Supervisor, Tom Schneider, is working alongside the Town Engineer and Genesee County Emergency Management, as well as the D.E.C., to rule out all reasons of what caused these cracks in the pavement. He said he did speak with the the quarry on Sunday, and will continue to do so.
“He provided me with seismograph data that they monitor with their blasting and it didn’t show anything on Sunday when the main collapse seemed to start to happen on this house,” said Schneider. “I’m going to get my engineer in touch with him and we’re going to look at if there could be any link. We don’t want to speculate until we get more information.”
News 4 spoke to Brad Buyers, Vice President of County Line Stone, who gave this statement on Monday:
The location in question, is one mile of distance from the quarry. Any of the noises of blasting and booms are not correlated to County Line stone’s routine scheduled blasting. We have fixed seismographs on multiple sides of our facility that monitor our blasting and will also pick up any ground movement including but not limiting earth quakes and nothing has been recorded by any of these devices outside of our normal blasting which happens once or twice a week, with prior notification to residents and or officials. This incident is isolated to this location with residences closer to our facility with no reported problems.”
Bradley M. Buyers, Vice President of County Line Stone Co., Inc
The next steps will possibly taking soil samples to understand what the water table underneath looks like.
“My understanding of sinkholes is: If the water goes down — which, we are in a drought — I guess the analogy is a water bed, the water would be able to hold the land up, so that’s where the engineer is leaning.” said Schneider. “The water went somewhere and we can try to determine where that went.”
As the investigation continues, the Town is looking into how long the road will be closed, but they do believe they will be able to save the road. Schneider doesn’t think residents should not be too concerned at this time.
To help the Nati Family, whose home is on the potential sinkhole, visit their GoFundMe page here.