KINGSTREE, SC (WCSC) - Over a week ago, the earth opened up in the town of Kingstree, swallowing a good portion of Madison Avenue.
Maintenance engineer Richard Livingston says the storm drainage gave way last Monday night during a heavy downpour.
"They weren't able to flow enough water through there," he says.
Storm water washed away fill material from around an old rusted drainage pipe causing the road to collapse.
Neighbors say the flooding was so bad it reminded them of when Madison Avenue used to be a canal. Over the years the canal was filled in and a road replaced a bridge that was in the same spot as the sinkhole.
Engineers now say the current storm drain is too small and needs to be upgraded.
"Remove the existing pipe," says Livingston. "Upsize it to the appropriate size to accommodate the amount of water that's flowing during those storms."
Livingston hopes to have the pipe replaced, the hole filled, and the road repaved by the end of the month. In the meantime, detours are in place.
"We've got it barricaded, coned off," says Livingston. "I think we've got as much as we can do to warn the citizens that they don't need to be in that area."
Luckily for neighbors, they can access the other side of Madison Avenue by using Lexington Avenue.