Sinkholes still causing problems, debate in Georgetown

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation is taking up a new measure to prevent sinkholes from happening again in Georgetown, but not everyone is happy about it.

At a public meeting Thursday, people fired questions at project planners and took a close look at their plan to fix the problem.

"Then you're saying this project cannot guarantee its purpose?" one resident asked.

A lot of angry questions came from the crowd regarding the Georgetown drainage project that's been on hiatus since November. That is when sinkholes started appearing all over town, causing this building to fall into the earth.

Now, the DOT is introducing a new plan they hope will prevent it from happening again. Several wells will be drilled in the ground all around the project to monitor the level of ground.

"There's data recorders in there that constantly read the elevation of the water so if there's anything that happens in the area due to the project we'll know if there is any difference in water elevations," said John Walsh with the SCDOT.

The new monitoring wells will be constructed in April. The cause of the sinkholes is still unknown and some think the DOT should hold off until the reason is found.

"I think it would be wise decision to make and why they're so hard headed about the project we as taxpayers don't understand why we're being ignored," said resident Jeep Ford.

Ford owns property across from the first building that fell victim to a sinkhole. He says the sinkholes have formed on all sides of his property and he's worried it could happen to him.

"I do have cracks in my building and in the concrete around my building and my parking lot," Ford said.

Now, it's just a waiting game.

"I don't know what's going to happen in the end or what's going to happen to all these businesses that have been damaged," Ford said.

The additions to the drainage project will cost more money. The DOT says they don't know how much more or who will be responsible for paying for it just yet.

The $15 million drainage project is expected to be completely finished by the fall. The insurance cap reserve is still investigating the sinkholes.

The DOT says there's no telling when people may see that money from insurance claims.

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