DOT sits down with city and state officials about Georgetown sinkhole

DOT sits down with city and state officials about Georgetown sinkhole. / Lindsey Theis

State Department of Transportation Commissioners, Georgetown city council memebers and state senators were among about 40 people who met Monday afternoon in Georgetown to discuss the problems caused by a sinkhole in the downtown area near Highway 17.

A building collapsed into that sinkhole Thursday night.

The owner of that building says it's a total loss. Monday, dozens of other area buildings also had cracks in their foundation.

The group waited until Monday to meet so DOT engineers could take the weekend to look over the problem.

Some of the area business owners believe the sinkhole was caused by a drainage project conducted by the DOT.

DOT Deputy Secretary of Engineering John Walsh was at the meeting. He says the DOT still doesn't know exactly what could have caused the sinkhole. He did say that the DOT has stopped work on the de-watering portion of the drainage project.

They also had claim forms for people to file with the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Many business owners at the meeting stood up and said they are still seeing cracks and are worried about the safety of the structure of their buildings.They also say that they are having to pay for their own engineers to prove evidence linking the sinkhole and the drainage project.

The DOT plans to meet again Wednesday morning from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Georgetown City Hall to update business owners on any new information found regarding the structural safety of the buildings near the sinkhole. Walsh says they won't have enough data to know what caused the sinkhole that made the building collapse for up to two weeks.