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Rancho Peñasquitos sinkhole leaves residents feeling stranded

SAN DIEGO -- Residents in Rancho Peñasquitos are worried that a massive sinkhole on one of their streets is limiting their route in and out of town.

Repairs are now underway to fill the hole, but residents in the immediate area say it highlights an even bigger issue they’ve been concerned about for years: Park Village Road is the only way in and out of the surrounding neighborhood.

City officials say the sinkhole was caused by a broken 48-inch storm drain. While crews are hard at work containing and repairing the road, there are concerns the chasm could widen even further. For now, Park Village Road is closed off to traffic near Park Village Elementary School, which has been moved to a one-way eastbound lane.

“I don’t know how the folks that live beyond the sinkhole would get out (in an emergency),” Kathy Hachadorian told FOX 5.

Residents like Hachadorian say the road closure points to an access problem that has existed for years. “Park Village is the only access to Black Mountain and I can tell you from trying to get out during the fires that at times it was almost impossible, because the road was totally congested,” she explained.

“(For) fire season it's only one way in and one way out,” another resident, Bob Hilderbrand, told FOX 5. “Anybody from here to the school -- they’re trapped, they can’t get out.”

The City of San Diego says it does not have an estimated time for when sinkhole repairs will be completed and the road will be reopened. Residents say the closure should serve as a reminder to the city that something needs to be done about the road.

“We should really make that a priority and  get that moving,” Hachadorian said. “So that we have another way out.”

A city official told FOX 5 there is an emergency traffic plan for the area if they need to close more lanes.

Late Tuesday night, a dog got away from its owner and fell into the sinkhole. The dog is okay after a rescue effort by firefighters and the San Diego Humane Society, but crews put up a chain link fence to prevent anyone from falling in again.

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