Residents and businesses in Gorleston, Norfolk are waiting to find out why two sinkholes recently appeared in the heart of the town.
The subsidence problem began when a hole opened up on High Street last week, while a second hole appeared on nearby High Road just a few days later.
Norfolk County Council is now working to establish the exact cause of the sinkholes, which may be critical in determining whether homes and businesses in the area might also be at risk of experiencing subsidence in the future.
The authority is currently in the process of carrying out underground checks and believes factors such as wet weather in the last few months and the “very sandy” subsoil in Gorleston may be partly responsible.
Rats have also been cited as a possible cause, as evidence of rat runs has been uncovered at the sites where the holes appeared.
Marie Field, Great Yarmouth borough councillor, is therefore putting pressure on local utilities providers to take steps to deal with the area’s vermin problem.
Speaking to the Norwich Evening News, she said: “Maybe now someone will listen and not turn a blind eye to the extent of our highly rat populated sewers.
“The water companies need to go back to chemical implementation down our sewers twice yearly.
“Saying that, it may be too late to stop the damage that they have already caused down under our road systems.”
Norfolk County Council is hoping to complete the checks and reopen the affected sections of road before the end of the week.
However, it has acknowledged that the process of examining the cavities has been “difficult and slow” for a number of reasons.
For instance, workers have had to deal with a large amount of compacted road surface and areas of concrete. In addition, they have had to work around utility services in the ground such as water and gas mains, electricity cables and a sewer with side connections.