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‘It’s hard’: Massive sinkhole craters Mooresville business owner’s dream



MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) – The ever-growing problem in Mooresville may have finally come to a conclusion.

For months a 40-foot-wide sinkhole has been opening up in the parking lot of a local tire shop, forcing it to close for safety concerns. Now, the town announced it just purchased the property and will look into repairing the damage.

Town officials said no taxpayer money will be spent and the property is being purchased with state funding.

“Twenty-eight years. That’s where it all started,” Tire Masters shop owner Chris Medford said. “You’ve met a lot of friends and met a lot of people…and it’s hard.”

The sinkhole that has taken his shop appeared seemingly out of nowhere, but the process was decades in the making.

“It was because of a compromised pipe installed decades ago,” Mooresville Mayor Chris Carney said.

The water slowly eroded the earth around it until a scar formed on the surface, eventually becoming an open wound.

With the doors shuddered, the town took a vote and decided to purchase the property. The hole will eventually be repaired, hopefully by late summer, and plans can be made to decide what can be done with the property.

Making the repairs is not the only problem, though. The town said that when the pipe burst, it pushed coal ash located underground into a nearby stream, eventually taking it into Lake Norman. That will also have to be delt with.

“It at least gives us an opportunity to be able to move forward,” the mayor said of the purchase.

Bellingham Park is just down the road from Tire Masters, and was host to youth baseball teams on Thursday. Many parents had heard about the sinkhole, and now are sharing concerns about possible water contamination.

“Very concerned about it getting into the drinking water,” parent Angie Fegter said.

Amanda Thompson said she feels better knowing town officials are aware of the problem.

“I would trust that would be monitored and cleaned up appropriately,” she said.

Allison Stadick wrote a paper for her PhD in chemistry on contamination issues on Lake Norman, even testing the water when she was an undergrad. Her findings were not good.

“I decided to take samples,” she said. “I found high levels of mercury in the water. What would cause that? Coal ash.”

As for what will eventually happen to the property once the hole is filled in, no decision has been made.

Related: Town of Mooresville to buy property where sinkhole developed

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