A storm that rolled through Anson County Saturday night created a 20-foot deep sinkhole in the driveway of McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Harvest Ministries off U.S. 74 in Wadesboro.
Joe Mendola, who represents property owner Claude Smith, said that the “catastrophe happened Saturday night during heavy rains” and estimates that the sinkhole is about 20 feet deep.
Two New Jersey men had just visited the McDonald’s drive-thru when their vehicle’s rear end fell into the sinkhole. They were treated for minor injuries at Anson Community Hospital, Wadesboro Police Chief Janie Schutz said.
The Wadesboro Police Department has been on the scene since the incident Saturday night, keeping the area cordoned off to motorists. Mendola said he hopes the businesses will be able to reopen by the end of the week.
The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) was scheduled to visit the site on Monday afternoon to evaluate the situation and, Mendola said, set up a temporary road in to the businesses so that they can reopen. “What we’re going to do is set up an egress,” he explained. “Once that is set up, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut will be able to operate.”
After that, new 8- to 10-inch pipes will be installed, the road will be regraded and “hopefully, everything will be safe and solid again,” Mendola said. He estimated the project would take four to six weeks to complete.
“The city police of Wadesboro have been very cooperative in handling this emergency situation,” Mendola said, “along with public works and emergency services.”
Chief Schutz said that getting the two restaurants operational again is a big priority. She pointed out that some Pizza Hut employees were there Monday to get a big order out to Columbus-McKinnon employees.
Wadesboro McDonald’s owner Jerome Davis said that the driveway has been an ongoing problem for employees and customers of the two businesses. “It is a problem we need to continue to monitor,” Chief Schutz said. “It is an ongoing problem.”
Mendola added, “We look forward to handling this situation and getting everything back to normal.”
Anson County emergency services director Rodney Diggs said that his office is also investigating a possible tornado on Pinkston River Road near Ansonville Saturday night. A brick wall in front of Smith’s Funeral Home on U.S. 74 was also washed away during the storm.