Sink Holes in the CSRA

Last night News Channel 6
got a viewer tip about a large sinkhole on Newberry Street.

“It's at least 2 foot
deep, but you'll never know until you start cleaning it out,” says Tony
Johnson with the Aiken Utilities Department

So, this morning I called
the South Carolina D-O-T and Aiken Public works to see what was being done
about it. I learned there was a dispute over whether the state or the city
owned the street.

By the time that I got to
Newberry St, the city of Aiken's Utilities Department was already working on
the sink hole; opening man holes and trying to find the root of the problem.

Larry Morris, Director of
Engineering and Utilities explains, “this is what we would commonly call a
sink hole or rat hole. Where we have a problem with the storm sewer we'll see
this happen. And we just have to go in a repair the storm sewer.”

A potential puddle Aiken
engineers worked Friday to get covered before heavy rains moved in.

“We don't want to
open it up right now because it will take probably a couple of days to repair,”
adds Morris.

But what could this mean if
a driver drops in?

“I would say it would
be a bad day for a lot of folks if they ended up with their car falling into
this hole,” James Artis, a resident of Aiken shares.

Artis has lived in Aiken
for more than 25 years and was surprised by what he found during his trip
downtown. “In this particular case, this is one where people have a lot of
assurity that things are safe– things are being kept up,” he says.

And that's exactly what
the Aiken Utilities Department plans to do.

Morris assures,  “we'll make it safe with steel plates and
we'll leave some cones so the drivers will know that there is an issues.”

The plates and cones will stay in place
through the weekend and an 'on-call' crew has been alerted in case of an
emergency. The Aiken Utilites Department is planning a more permanent fix early
next week.

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