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Neighbors complained about road integrity before a sinkhole formed

EL PASO, Texas -- Residents of a neighborhood where a sinkhole formed say the street had just been redone a year ago. 

Officials say a woman was driving when all of the sudden the road caved in. She was able to get out of the car on her own. She was not hurt. 

This happened on Feliz Place in South Central El Paso, that's a neighborhood close to the border highway, not far from Ascarate park.

El Paso Water crews are working to fix an 8-inch water main break that caused this sinkhole. Neighbors say that sinkhole could've cost a woman her life.

"Wow my Lord Jesus Christ! I just passed through here an hour ago. I'm glad the lady's fine I really am," said neighbor, Joe Salazar.

A woman driving alone fell into this sinkhole. About half of the car ended up submerged in water. The sinkhole was three times the size of the vehicle. 

"Fire crews responded right away. When they got here the hole was not as big and the vehicle was not as sunk as it is right now. So, the driver was able to get out herself from the vehicle," said Enrique Duenas from El Paso Fire Department.

"It's kinda scary to know something like that can happen. I just got home about an hour before the incident happened," said Javier Ramon, a neighbor.

The car was pulled out of the sinkhole about two hours later. Water crews have been repairing the main that broke.

Residents may be without water while the street is repaired. However, they were more frustrated about the integrity of the road before the water main broke.

"My concern is that part of the street is not redone like the rest of the area here", said Ramon.

Javier Ramon lives directly in front of the area where the street caved.

He says only part of the street was recently repaved despite his attempts to get the whole street up to date.

"I went to several council meetings and asked why our street was not gonna be repaired, they told me that there was no money allocated to repair the rest of the street, flower street," said Ramon.

Ramon says where the road collapsed is where the repairs ended. He believes this could've been avoided.

"See the consequences of not fully repairing the area," said Ramon.

Investigators have not said if the re-pavement had anything to do with the sinkhole forming. 

An El Paso Water Utilities spokeswoman says they are hoping to restore services as soon as possible. The sinkhole will temporarily be filled until it can be permanently repaved.

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Sarah Coria

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