Sinkholes the size of swimming pools taking in floodwater and sewage in the Hunter Valley

Dozens of sinkholes have appeared in the rural Hunter Valley community of Broke in the aftermath of flooding rains.

Residents have told the ABC there are at least 30 sinkholes, also called erosion holes.

Angela Andonopoulos has been coordinating a community-driven flood recovery response and said sinkholes were the last thing that people needed.

“It’s not just that they are refilling with water constantly, it is also the contamination factor. With floodwater there is also the issue with the collection of sewage.”

The ABC visited the village on Monday and the stench from that sewage was suffocating.

Sinkholes around a house.
A property at Broke surrounded by sinkholes.(ABC Newcastle: Liz Farquhar)

Singleton Shire Council said it was currently liaising with Public Works Advisory to investigate possible solutions to sinkholes within the township.

Police are coordinating the response, cordoning off impacted areas.

The sinkholes have appeared in driveways, under houses, in front and back yards, and in paddocks.

Caravans and vehicles have been swallowed up, as have fences.

A sinkhole in rural drive way.
An expanding sinkhole on a Broke driveway.(ABC Newcastle: Liz Farquhar)

The council is urging people to be cautious around the dozens of sites impacted.

The sinkholes are not the only cause from for concern.

Flood damaged garbage has lined Broke’s streets as residents continue the clean-up.

Damaged items line a road.
Flood-damaged items line Broke’s streets awaiting insurance assessors.(ABC Newcastle: Liz Farquhar)

Ms Andonopoulos took to social media to thank the community for rallying together.

“The entire contents of many homes are currently waiting out on the roads for insurance assessors and council removal,” she said.

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