New sinkhole in Darlington
On the morning of June 29, a sinkhole measuring approximately 1.5 feet wide and 12 feet deep caved in asphalt at the intersection of Wells Street and Orange Street in Darlington. Traffic was rerouted away from the dangerous area until repairs could be made.
This cave-in is the latest in a series of similar incidents in our area over the past several years, most of which can be linked to an unfortunate confluence of geology and weather.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) says that about 20-percent of the U.S. lies in areas susceptible to sinkhole events, and that includes the Pee Dee region. Sinkholes are common in areas with “karst terrain,” where the type of rock located beneath the ground surface can be eroded by circulating water.
USGS says that sinkholes are more common after intense rainfall, and that drought can play a role as well. Sinkholes due to human activity can be caused by sudden changes in drainage patterns, as when aquifers are pumped for urban water supply or farm irrigation.
Photo by Samantha Lyles