GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) Georgetown City Police say another sinkhole has opened up near Highmarket Street Business Center, forcing officials to close that roadway. Drivers are asked to continue to avoid the area where part of a building collapsed on Fraser Street late Thursday night.
The new sinkhole location is approximately 150 to 200 feet away from the partial building collapse. No buildings have been affected by the latest sinkhole, but an Allstate Insurance building is very close to the swallet.
Officials explained to WMBF News that the building has fallen approximately fifteen feet into the ground at Parrish Place on North Fraser Street in the City of Georgetown. The reason for the collapse is unknown at this time.
Parrish Place owner Tony Jordan says he hopes to have the owners and employees of the businesses in his building in new locations soon.
"Our goal is to try to find them a place to relocate to soon, we're working on the right now," Jordan says.
Georgetown Assistant Fire Chief Bill Johnson addressed the worry many residents nearby share that the sinkholes could be the result of drainage work in the area by the Department of transportation.
"That's going to take some time to hear anything on whether [DOT] thinks [the drainage project] had anything to do with [the sinkholes]. We don't know at this point," Johnson says.
Officials confirm the destruction is near the site of a sinkhole located last week. However, officials aren't sure if the earlier sinkhole is the cause of this most recent collapse as it is not in the exact same location.
Investigators have closed off a portion of Highway 17 near the destruction. City officials say it's a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of citizens and motorists. Fraser Street from Highmarket to Front Street is also closed. Northbound traffic will be rerouted to Hazard Street and southbound traffic is being rerouted to Merriman Street.
First responders also said the closure of Fraser Street is likely to last well beyond the morning, so motorists should prepare for some delay during the morning commute. No injuries have been reported.