Ground shifts under Pembroke family home, forced to evacuate with help of volunteer firefighters
When a volunteer firefighter realized today that his home on Scribner Road in Pembroke was potentially falling into a sinkhole, he did what volunteer firefighters do -- he called one of his brothers.
In this case, Gene Nati called Alan Piasecki, assistant chief in Crittenden.
Piasecki showed up with a covered trailer and 30 firefighters to help the Nati family move all of their important belongings out of their house, which is only 10 years old.
Genesee County Emergency Management wanted the Natis to clear out within an hour once they assessed the situation.
Officials told Nati that they don't expect the house to still be standing by Monday morning.
Piasecki said the ground under the house appears to be collapsing fast.
"It's not real loud, but you can actually feel it in the ground and you can hear it, and if you get close enough to the house, you can actually hear it starting to crack," Piasecki said.
According to Piasecki, Nati first noticed a crack in the driveway at 6:30 a.m. He went to get some repair work done on his car and while he was out, his daughter called and said her window wouldn't close. He came home and found a crack in the foundation.
Residents in the area said they have heard blasting for the past eight days.
Nati said county officials suggested to him that the quarry may have drained the water table.
Nati is waiting for county engineers to let him know what is next. He said University at Buffalo geologists are going to respond to the location and extract core samples to determine whether it's a sinkhole.
The crack, he said, is getting worse and extends across Scribner Road and into the woods on the other side of the street.
Meanwhile, Nati and his family are staying with another family member just down the road.
Nati said he was grateful for the assistance of the Town of Pembroke supervisor, Tom Schneider, Highway Superintendent Scott Turner, the Pembroke fire chief, Jamie Waff, the code enforcement officer, James Wolbert, and the Sheriff's Office, and all the members of Crittenden Fire Department.
Piasecki isn't sure what they're going to do longer term.
"It's very unfortunate," Piasecki said. "I mean, he's got no place to go. I feel sorry for him. Where do you go from here? He has no clue and he's getting no help from his insurance. You would think that there would be some kind of emergency insurance service for him. It'll be okay. He's got a good family. And I think that he'll be okay. And then come Monday morning, hopefully, things will go better."
Photos by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service. Alecia Kaus contributed to this story.