Hartsville business owner receives help after large sinkhole forms in car lot

Updated: Oct. 12, 2020 at 8:47 PM EDT
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HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) - A Hartsville business owner has watched for the last month as a sinkhole took over her car lot, and left the area flooded with water.

Karen Mouzon, who owns a small car dealership, worried that the sinkhole would soon take over her car lot.

“It started off as a little sprinkle or a little leak, then it turned into a sinkhole, and then it got to be like a fountain," said Mouzon.

Mouzon first called the Darlington County Water and Sewer on Sep. 16 and made five more phone calls through the first week in October.

As the flooding grew, even flowing into a neighbor’s yard, Mouzon was becoming more worried about the liability of her customers and potential damage to her property.

“You have to step through water to get to the vehicles, and my concern is I’ve seen videos with the sinkholes and stuff like that so it’s messed with my anxiety watching it grow day by day and the sound of it was eerie," said Mouzon.

Despite the constant calls, Mouzon continued to be told by the water and sewer authority was waiting on a digging permit or lacking manpower.

On Monday morning, a spokesperson from the Darlington County Water and Sewer Authority told WMBF News the late summer months were the busiest of the year, and they have a small number of workers to fix the large number of drainage issues in the county.

Within an hour of the conversation, Mouzon said workers were out fixing the sinkhole.

“All of a sudden, I get here and someone’s out here wanting to do the work, where I’ve been calling every week, I contacted you and you contacted them and low and behold they’re here," said Mouzon.

For almost two hours, the workers dug out the hole and packed the entire area with new dirt.

While the issue is fixed, Mouzon believes it could’ve been handled sooner.

“I understand you’re short-staffed and I understand all that, but if you could get here that quickly I feel like this could’ve been done already before it became a fountain,” said Mouzon.

Mouzon said while it took longer than expected, she’s thankful for the workers who came out and fixed the issue.

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