Cal City sinkhole could have been much worse

2014-05-15T00:00:00Z Cal City sinkhole could have been much worseGeorge Grenchik Times Columnist
May 15, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Well, Calumet City was a lead story on a lot of local newscasts a few days back (not always a good thing). But this was for a rather unusual circumstance that turned out not to be as bad as it could have been.

The first thing I heard when my alarm, which is set to a radio news channel, woke me went something like “…and besides the flooding, a giant crater opened up in south suburban Calumet City.”

Being half awake and a little groggy, I was kind of afraid to look out my window.

But then, as I have been doing since I was a kid, I had to see what was going on first hand.

Within a stone’s throw from the Calumet City Historical Society’s log cabin in Veterans Park was the giant hole. I talked with a gentleman from the Water Reclamation District. I asked what happened and he told me that’s why he was there — to figure it out.

It appears some pressure built up from the wicked torrents of rain that night caused a shaft that is part of the Deep Tunnel system, to be pressurized to a high level and then to blow. (Something akin to you or me drinking too fast. There has to be a release).

It must have been pretty frightening for the folks in the area to be awoken by an explosion and a shower of water, dirt, and rock.

No one was hurt and I don’t think there was any property damage. But having seen the area with the massive crater and the debris field with some rather large boulders, it’s not hard to imagine there easily could have been.


You often see on TV some first responders shrug off accolades heaped on them for some heroic action or another. It’s really cool to see it when it’s in your own hometown.

Congrats and thanks to Officer Adam Zieminski. He entered a burning home in Cal City to save a baby.

Storybook stuff doesn’t only happen in storybooks.


In this day when all doesn’t always go well for the Catholic Church, something really well happened last week.

In a packed St. Mary Queen of Apostles Church in Riverdale, 45 young men and women were confirmed by Bishop Joseph Perry, vicar for this area.

In the Catholic Church’s sacrament of confirmation, young people confirm on their own, beliefs and promises that were stated and made for them at their baptisms.

It was a good night and a hopeful sign for us all.


Great music. Great church. Great price.

This Sunday the South Suburban Chorale under the most capable directorship of Albert Jackson will perform J. S. Bach’s "Requiem" at St. Andrew the Apostle Church.

The church is at 768 Lincoln Ave. in Calumet City. Concert time is 4 p.m. Admission is free although freewill donations to aid the chorale will be accepted.

If you haven’t heard the South Suburban Chorale and/or haven’t been to St. Andrew’s beautiful church, do yourself a favor.

The Jimmy Perniciaro annual Memorial Golf Outing and Dinner will take place on May 24. The golfing will be at the Lincoln Oaks course in Crete. Start time is 12:30 p.m. In the evening drinks and dinner will be at the American Legion on Ridge Road in Lansing.

Funds raised will help support the “Friends of Jimmy” team at the annual Relay For Life (on June 21 at T.F. North) and other groups working to combat the plague of cancer, the disease that took Jimmy’s life.

You can contact Patti Perniciaro at (708)  474-4468 or Joe Casner at (708) 271-0812 for reservations.

A great time, with great people, for a great cause.

Thanks for reading.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. George Grenchik is a longtime Calumet City resident and retired instructor at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. He can be reached at

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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