Uncertainty underground in Georgetown - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Uncertainty underground in Georgetown

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By Eric Egan

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) -- What's going on underground?

That's what city and now state officials are trying to figure out in Georgetown after a series of sinkholes caused serious damage.

It's been hard for property owner Tony Jordan to figure out. He owns the building that was partially swallowed by a sinkhole last Thursday.

"We know the earth is shifting somehow, causing voids, to cause problems with the structure," Jordan said.

He tells us the problem started on October 29 when a sinkhole appeared in his parking lot.

"The building has been settling for about the past three weeks since the sinkhole appeared over here on the right," Jordan said, as he motioned towards the other hole.

What followed was as unexpected as it was damaging.

The entire building on Highway 17 and Fraser is now a total loss. It comes at a time when the Department of Transportation and the city are involved in a $14 million drainage project. Workers have pumped out of the ground -- 60,000 gallons of water per hour, for the past few weeks.

Jordan says the coincidence is tough to ignore.

"All of it's been happening during that de-watering project," he said." That's why we're all concerned."

The Bank of America building on Highmarket Street is one of several buildings around town where engineers are examining the structural stability. It's a safety precaution, so in the meantime the building remains closed.

Also closed is the Georgetown Judicial Center. It's undergoing tests after cracks were found in its foundation. As many as five buildings in the area have reported damage. The nearby water tower is thought to be stable.

Meantime members of the state's geographical survey team are left looking to make sure.

*ABC News 4 asked repeatedly for comment or an explanation for the sink holes by calling the Georgetown city fire department, city administrators, and the county administrator's office. All declined to contribute to this report.

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