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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