By Jim Melwert
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Eight residents were temporarily displaced after a retaining wall partially collapsed near South Street last night (see related story). There were local detours in the area and several businesses weren’t able to open immediately this morning. But, police have now given the all-clear.
This happened on 8th Street between South and Bainbridge, where several properties butt up against each other. One of those properties was dug up for construction, but with all the rain yesterday, what’s called a “ground wall” – or retaining wall – between those properties gave way, and the dirt was washed away from the adjoining foundations, which officials say could have caused a much larger problem.
It happened around 8 o’clock last night. As a precaution, the surrounding buildings were evacuated, and eight people were forced from their homes. They were allowed to return just before 9 a.m.
Crews worked overnight to push dirt back against those foundations to try to secure them, but officials were waiting for engineers to check the properties to make sure they’re safe. Construction was halted until the property owner could come up with a plan to keep this from happening again.
Al LaTorre lives a couple doors down. He knows the building owners and says it appears this was all precautionary.
“Oh, absolutely. I guess because of all the problems at 22nd and Market, they can’t take any chances, which I commend the city for that anyway.”