Community in shock after sinkhole swallows building

GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - People in Georgetown say they are shocked after a sinkhole swallowed part of an office building on the main drag of the city.

"Shocked and sad at the same time, but also very grateful it happened during the night and there were no injuries or loss of life," says Tony Jordan who owns the collapsed building."That's what we are grateful for and thank God for."

Authorities allowed some people who work in the building to get some important items out, but of course they are being very careful about it just in case the sinkhole gets bigger.

The sinkhole is big enough as it is measuring about eight to ten feet deep. The building, Parrish Place, is home to about eight businesses and all of them will have to relocate.

The owner of the car dealership across the street, says his grandfather built the collapsed building

"It was disheartening. My grandfather started building buildings in this neighborhood since 1936. He's dead now but if he weren't, he'd be dead right now," said Jeepy Ford.

What caused the sinkhole to get so big has not been determined.

"We have had none of these problems in this neighborhood until construction of the drainage project which they dug a deep hole on Front street and they've been pumping water out of it for over five weeks," Ford says.

Right now the focus is on fixing the street and finding a new place for the displaced businesses to operate.

Jordan said the community needs to work together to figure out what's causing the sinkholes. Officials say there's no timetable when or if the building will be repaired.

State senators Yancy McGill and Ray Clearly have called an emergency meeting for Monday regarding the situation.

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