GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - State senators Yancy McGill and Ray Clearly have called an emergency meeting for Monday after a sinkhole swallowed up a Georgetown office building, causing it to fall 8 to 10 feet into the ground.
On Friday afternoon, officials surveyed the scene to find out why the building collapsed. There are now a total of four different sink holes in this area. Luckily, no one was injured when the Parrish Place office building on Fraser Street collapsed around 11 p.m.
Office chairs, printers and other equipment fell into the sinkhole when the building collapsed. Authorities allowed some people who work in the building to get some important items out of the building, but they are being careful just in case the sinkhole gets bigger.
The Parrish building is home to about eight businesses. At least one business is destroyed and several others are threatened. All of them will have to relocate.
Tony Jordan, the owner of the building, said he is looking at vacant buildings around the city for his now displaced tenants. Jordan said that he is thankful the collapse happened when no one was inside.
The incident has caused major traffic headaches for drivers. For precautionary reasons, the City of Georgetown has blocked off a portion of Fraser Street from Highmarket to Front Street. Several blocks of Highway 17 are closed indefinitely. Another sinkhole on Highmarket Street shut down a portion of that road in both directions.
The sinkhole is one of several seen in the area the past couple of weeks. Just a few weeks ago, a 3-foot sinkhole formed in the parking lot at Parrish Place.
Construction crews are working on a drainage project near the area. They are digging deep and laying new pipe, but officials have not said if the recent sink holes could have been caused by the road work.
Jordan said he believes the city's drainage improvement project may have had something to do with the sinkhole.
Traffic will be slow in this area for the next few days. The Georgetown police chief says that traffic won't be allowed through the area until officials say the road is stable enough.
The owner of the car dealership across the street, says his grandfather built the collapsed building
"It was disheartening," Ford said. "My grandfather Parrish started building buildings in this neighborhood since 1936. He's dead now but if he weren't, he'd be dead right now."
Copyright 2011 WCSC. All rights reserved.