Last summer, what appeared to be a sinkhole opened up in Hinton, West Virginia close to the Hinton Police Department. Now it’s about to devour the entire police station.
59News reports that the month after the sinkhole first opened up, city officials met with the West Virginia Department of Highways to figure out what to do about it. But by September, the city admitted that “it had no timetable for a repair.” But it had figured out the cause: a 100-year-old culvert that was long past due for replacement and was currently collapsing. Thanks, America’s underfunded infrastructure system.
Unfortunately for Hinton, the hole continued to grow. In fact, it grew to the point that two months later, Summers County Schools were forced to close, and students switched to online classes. Now, a year later, the hole is absolutely massive and causing major issues for the police station, which appears to be collapsing into it.
The good news is, the city has a plan. Sort of. State Senator Stephen Baldwin shared the WVDOH’s two-part plan on Facebook. First, “[a] temporary bridge will be erected this weekend to allow traffic to safely travel through the area.” And second, the state will spend an estimated $5 million on what it believes will be a permanent solution.
Some reactions to the post were supportive, but quite a few others expressed concern, with one resident writing:
I am probably not the only one that feels less then optimistic any progress will be made anytime soon. For 5 months you are the only one I have seen given any updates to our community until the recent public outrage. The hole has been growing with each rainfall, you would think after the giant sink hole at my grandmothers 4 avenues away 20 yrs ago that swallowed my dad’s camper and shut down the road, a plan would already be put in place for this type of thing.
Hopefully, the DOH’s attempt to fix the hole is successful, and no one gets hurt in another sudden collapse.