Nearly 300 residents evacuated after cars fall in sinkhole

Sinkhole caused by water line break

Residents of an east side apartment were evacuated early Friday when three cars fell into a sink hole in a parking lot, according to the Madison Fire Department.

Crews were called to 1602 Fordem Ave. at 4:42 a.m. after the cars fell into the sinkhole.

About 300 residents in the nearby apartments were evacuated because of concerns about the potential for gas leaks. Water at all four River’s Edge Apartments buildings was turned off.

Fire officials said the sink hole was caused by a water line break. Madison Water Utility officials said the main that broke is privately owned.

Buses were brought to the scene to shelter evacuated residents.

Fordem Avenue will be closed between the intersection of Sherman Avenue and Johnson Street in the inbound direction.  Local residents will still have access.

It’s not known how long the area will be closed. At about 10:30 a.m., some vehicles in the cordoned off area were allowed to leave. Crews cleaned off the exiting vehicles individually to avoid tracking out chemicals.

Crews were still working to drain the sinkhole at about 11 a.m.

The Red Cross is at the scene bringing in water, coffee and food for people who’ve been evacuated.