WADESBORO — A massive sinkhole widened Friday in the Anson County town of Wadesboro, forcing several businesses to shut down.
The sinkhole is on an entry road off of Highway 74, which connects businesses and an outreach ministry. The hole is approximately 60 ft. wide and 25 ft. deep.
"This is a lot to be watching over, we get a lot of people that want to stop and look," said Wadesboro Police Chief Janie Schutz.
A smaller sinkhole first emerged a week or so ago, but it tripled in size Friday after a pipe underneath the asphalt could not handle this week's heavy rains. It forced a chunk of the entry road to cave in.
"It's going to be jump through a few hoops but we're willing to do that. You know you have to do what you got to do," said Steve Adams, of Harvest Ministry.
The expanded sinkhole means two fast food restaurants and the community outreach 'Harvest Ministry' must be closed indefinitely. A dozen homeless men at Harvest's shelter must find a new temporary place to stay.
“It's been interesting. Our concern of course is, our heart went out to the shelter because that's their home, they had nowhere else go," said Pastor Adams.
Chief Schutz expects the sinkhole repair work will take four to six weeks, leaving more than 50 employees in limbo of then they can return to their jobs.
"As a police chief in Wadesboro, I want to see Wadesboro taken care of. Which means, get our people to work and get our businesses open," said Schutz.
Town leaders are now working with the lot's property owner, who was in New York on Friday to ensure the sinkhole repair work begins quickly and efficiently. Chief Schutz is hopeful repairs can begin on Monday. In the meantime, Wadesboro police officers will monitor the site to prevent onlookers from getting too close.