Partial building collapse re-routes Georgetown traffic

Photo Credit: George Ramos

A sinkhole in a Georgetown may be to blame for collapsing the front portion of the Parrish Place building on North Fraser Street, also known as Highway 17, about 11 p.m. Thursday.

City leaders shut down the area to traffic for safety reasons. Fraser Street from Highmarket to Front is closed. Northbound traffic is rerouted to Hazard Street and southbound traffic is rerouted to Merriman Street. They don't want vibrations from the vehicles to cause any more damage to the building.

Assistant Georgetown City Fire Chief, Bill Johnson, says no one was hurt.

Inspectors are looking for damage in buildings in about a two-block area around the collapse. Firefighters shut off the gas, water and power in that same area.

Firefighters say Department of Transportation workers are inspecting the hole and another sinkhole about a block away.

Last Thursday, the owner of a gas station next door to the sink hole said cracks were showing up on his lot and the door to the station wouldn't close properly. At that time, DOT said it didn't think the city's flooding control project started the sinkhole.

DOT said Friday there was no official cause just yet for the sinkholes. But Jeepy Ford says his family has owned buildings in the area for many years, and they've never seen anything like this until the flooding control project.

Reporter Joel Allen is in Georgetown. He says people in the area are outside checking their buildings, a little spooked by what's happened, no matter what the cause.