Heavy Rain Causes Devastation in Baltimore, Md.

Tue May 20, 2014 - Northeast Edition
Irwin Rapoport


Associated Press photo 
Cars sit on the edge of a washed out street in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, April 30, as heavy rain moves through the region.
Associated Press photo Cars sit on the edge of a washed out street in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, April 30, as heavy rain moves through the region.

With an investigation still ongoing, the city of Baltimore has still not set a date to rebuild a portion of a nearly 120 year old retaining wall that dramatically collapsed due to heavy rain on April 30 before the eyes of residents who live on East 26th Street in the city’s Charles Village neighborhood.

The retaining wall collapsed around 4 p.m. as residents gathered on the street to examine the portion of the road that had partially collapsed with several parked cars being trapped.

Baltimore residents are awaiting the results of ground penetrating radar (GPR) tests that were conducted following the landslide to better understand the extent of the damage.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (via The Baltimore Sun) said on May 7 that “we are in [the] process of gathering information so that [we] can inform the public about all of the actions that my administration took before the collapse as well as provide a thorough assessment of the structural integrity of the area both currently and leading up to the collapse.”

The Baltimore Sun reported that, “Geologists said the Charles Village event should likely not be considered a sinkhole. Sinkholes are natural phenomena that occur when the Earth’s surface collapses on top of spaces where rocks have eroded away.”

The collapse is important, especially in the northeast, where such infrastructure can be found in many areas, as this is where the country’s first rail networks were developed hand-in-hand with industrial and residential development. As has been pointed out in many articles, the decay of aging infrastructure is more then just roads, bridges, and pipes and sewers.