Sink hole strands park-goers

April 20, 2009 10:15:45 AM PDT
Dozens of people visiting a park in the Kingwood area got stranded by a big sink hole yesterday. [PHOTOS: Images from scene]

Authorities say the 5-foot deep hole opened up around 6pm at River Grove Park in Kingwood. According to officers on the scene, there were about eight people who slept in their vehicles overnight because those vehicles were stuck.

River Grove Park is where the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston converge.

"It's close to home. Everybody launches their boat here for a quick couple of hours during the day," stranded resident Josh Thauxbridge said. "You can get off work and you come down here during the day, put some clothes on and launch your boat; go fishing and have fun on the jet ski and go home."

The water is high following a tremendous rain storm on Saturday. Some say the elevated level makes for great fishing. So when the sun came out on Sunday, Kevin Young and his friends tried to salvage their weekend.

"We came out here around 3 o'clock yesterday and we had a buddy following right behind us," said Young.

But his buddy never made it into the park.

"They called us and said, 'Hey, I can't get to you. The bridge is out'," he said.

Not only did the bridge collapse, it created the 5-foot deep hole, which is so wide that both lanes of the only road into the park is now impassable, turning Kevin and dozens of others' visit to the river into an unexpected extended stay. There were some who were prepared.

"Being in the oil field when you have to go out on a rig sometimes, you get stuck out there. We always come prepared," said stranded park-goer Mark Ryan.

"We have Vienna sausages," he wife added.

But those who weren't prepared for an overnight stay wrote their information down and walked out of the park, using the pedestrian bridge. It's still unclear on when they'll be able to drive out of the park.

Structural engineers are on the scene, trying to determine how they can permanently repair the sink hole. In the meantime, city officials say they're going to fill the sink hole with limestone, so that the cars stuck in the park can travel across it and get out. Once the cars are out of the park, they're going to take the limestone out and assess how to repair the hole.

      Headline check | 100 most recent local stories | News alerts
            Slideshow archive | ABC13 wireless | Help solve crimes


Load Comments