(NECN: Brendan Monahan, Chelmsford, Mass.) - Heavy rains washed away a big chunk of Boston Road in Chelmsford, Mass. Sunday.
"Our neighbor across the street woke us this morning, early, to tell us that she had water in her basement and that the hole had opened up across the street in our yard here," said Linda DePaulis.
The sinkhole left a utility pole perilously standing just feet from rushing water and a six-inch gas line in danger of being ruptured.
Several homes were temporarily evacuated.
"My biggest concern was the pipe rupture, the pole fall, then we have a gas leak, then we've got wires down," said Chelmsford Fire Captain Hank Houle. "And with this weather, the gas would stay low."
"I'm just amazed, whenever I see a sinkhole, that after all these years, the thing just shows up," said neighbor Ron Courture. "It's not like we had five inches of rain or anything."
The area was stabilized and crews were able to keep utilities on for nearby homes. Jersey barriers were brought in midday to shut down Boston Road, something residents say will be a big inconvenience come Monday.
"If it's closed in the morning, it's going to be bad news," said Couture. "I live on this road. If my car isn't facing out, I can't get out in the morning. If I have to back out, forget it."
"It's going to be a nightmare for the commute," said DePaulis. "This is a very busy road during morning and evening travel hours."
The good news is no cars were damaged and nobody was hurt when the road gave away.