A woman driving down Summers Street between Virginia and Quarrier got an unpleasant surprise today when the left front tire of her car broke through the asphalt into a large sinkhole below.
Charleston Street Department employees have closed both lanes of Summers Street between Virginia and Quarrier because of the sinkhole that is about 4 feet wide and about 8 to 10 feet deep, Public Works Director Gary Taylor said.
The woman driving the Buick sedan that broke through the street into the sinkhole was not injured, and only the left front tire of her car went into the hole, Taylor said. A tow truck was called to the scene to pull the car from the hole, he said.
"And she got in the car and drove off after we got her out," Taylor said.
The sinkhole appeared at about noon. Taylor believes a leaking sewage line under the street caused the sinkhole.
Employees from the Charleston Sanitary Board have been called to the scene to determine where the leak occurred.
They will also determine what repairs are needed, Taylor said. Taylor hopes the sanitary board employees will be able to determine identify the cause of the leak and temporarily fix the street by Friday night.
"They'll either fill the hole back in temporarily or put a steel sheet across it so they can open the street back up," Taylor said.
The temporary fix will allow the street to be reopened until a permanent solution can be found, he said.The sinkhole opened up in the southbound lane of Summers Street.