Sinkhole opens up on White House lawn

Emily Shugerman

A sinkhole has formed in front of the White House, bringing with it a chorus of jokes about the administration working nearby.

White House reporters tweeted photos of the hole on Tuesday, saying it had appeared earlier in the week and only grown larger since. It was located outside the press briefing room, near deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley’s office, according to tweets from Voice of America and Breitbart reporters.

A sinkhole has opened the North Lawn of the White House (Rex)

“This week I’ve been observing a sinkhole on the @WhiteHouse North Lawn, just outside the press briefing room, growing larger by the day,” tweeted Voice of America’s Steve Herman, who was one of the first to spot the hole.

Groundskeepers placed orange traffic cones and yellow caution tape around the sinkhole on Tuesday, and National Park Service workers placed a large wooden plank over the area that afternoon.

"The National Park Service has been monitoring the situation and is bringing in some additional experts to help best determine a remedy," National Park Service spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said in a statement, adding that the hole did not pose a danger to the White House.

Ms Anzelmo-Sarles said such sinkholes were common in the wake of heavy rains like those that drenched the Washington area over the last week.

CNN’s Jim Acosta took the idea a step further, joking on Twitter that the sinkhole's appearance had something to do with the “swampy weather” in DC – a reference to Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp”.

But the jokes didn’t stop there. Twitter users had a field day with the news, with some deeming the sinkhole a “resistance hero” and others joking it might be First Lady Melania Trump’s “escape hole”.

“It's not like a growing sinkhole right outside the press briefing room at the White House has any existential meaning to it at all, right?” tweeted former Capitol Hill staffer Jeff Urbanchuk.

The Huffington Post’s Ariel Edwards-Levy couldn’t resist making a pun, tweeting: “a sinkhole near the White House? That's ground breaking news.”

The event even spawned its own "White House Sink Hole" Twitter account. The first tweet read simply: “It's just too easy.”

Adding to the hilarity was the fact that an apparent sinkhole opened up in front of Mr Trump’s South Florida home at almost exactly the same time last year.

A 4ft by 4ft sinkhole formed next to a newly installed water main in front of Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on 22 May of last year, according to local officials. That sinkhole also inspired its own Twitter account, before officials declared it was not a sinkhole, but the result of a collapsed stormwater pipe.

"Exactly one year apart," one user tweeted of the two sinkholes on Tuesday. "The earth is trying to swallow Donald Trump."