Lawmakers, traffic engineers to discuss Georgetown sinkhole issue

GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - Georgetown County officials say the county courthouse is safe to reopen. It's been closed since Friday, after a sinkhole threatened the safety of the structure.

Officials say the judicial center will be open for business on Tuesday and operating under regular business hours.

Right now, state lawmakers and transportation engineers are in a meeting to find out the cause of multiple sinkholes in Georgetown. Businesses and government buildings remain closed after a sinkhole engulfs one building and threatens several others.

Tony Jordan owns the building where the UPS Store, Nationwide Insurance, and other businesses were located in Georgetown.

"Our tenants have found new homes, about 95% of them, that's good news. Our community has been helpful in assisting and helping our tenants," Jordan said.

Jordan's property is one of many affected. Other businesses like a nearby bank closed its doors because workers found cracks in the walls.

At the Georgetown County Judicial Center structural engineers are also monitoring cracks in the walls and have been using ground radars to monitor problems. County officials spent the day in meetings working with engineers to determine whether the building is safe to reopen.

Georgetown city and county officials say they aren't sure what's caused multiple sinkholes in the city. They hope to hear some answers from the State Department of Transportation.

Jordan says a DOT drainage project may be to blame. DOT spokesman Pete Poore says Jordan has filed a claim for repair costs and at this time it's the only claim they've gotten. It is currently under review by the DOT's insurance company.

"DOT has sent me an email or two. I'll have to say that. We heard a good bit from them Friday, some folks in the parking lot. They seem to have a lot of activity going on. I think they hired some engineering firms," Jordan said.

A sinkhole was first spotted in the city late last month, but it was a sinkhole last week that caused the UPS Store building to collapse and concern for the safety of the judicial center.

DOT officials are set to meet with property owners on Wednesday impacted by sinkholes in Georgetown.

Stay tuned to to find out what comes out of this afternoon's meeting with DOT engineers when the information becomes available.

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