CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A busy road in north Charlotte will be shut down for days after overnight storms washed away a 20-foot section of the roadway.
Police blocked off Mallard Creek Road near Johnston Oehler Road and told Channel 9 it will take two to three days to assess the damage before work crews can make repairs. The road is expected to be closed until the end of the month.
"It's not safe for anybody right now,” said Jen Thompson of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Channel 9 reporter Mark Barber was the first to arrive at the scene around 4 a.m. and could see barricades blocking Mallard Creek Road. Just beyond them, a 20-foot portion of the roadway was missing.
Channel 9 followed an alternate route on Mallard Creek Church to Prosperity and then onto Johnston Oehler, a stretch of two miles, crossing 10 subdivisions and taking 10 minutes.
The sheer size of the pit may force crews to bring in an extra contractor which will just add to the delays.
"We're fully aware that this is a hindrance and an inconvenience, but our first priority is safety,” Thompson said.
Down the street, in the Robyn Glenn subdivision, William Sutton is already imagining the headaches he's going to have when his granddaughter goes back to school in two weeks.
"Especially on Mallard Creek where they have school buses up and down, it's going to be a problem,” Sutton said.
Officers said they weren’t aware of the washout until a truck driver was injured after driving over it. The driver was taken to the hospital but police told Channel 9 he is expected to be OK.
Police told Channel 9 that the driver was fortunate to have been in a long box truck because a shorter car would have plunged into the gap. The sinkhole is approximately 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep.
The truck was hauling freight for Amazon and customers in Huntersville and Salisbury are not expected to receive their orders on time Tuesday.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has been alerted and has crews headed to the scene, but officials told Channel 9 that repairs will be extensive and could last into the week.
Mallard Creek Road will stay closed between Polk and White roads and Johnston Oehler Road. Drivers are urged to avoid the area.
Sinkhole forms on West Boulevard
Road crews had to also deal with another issue Tuesday morning, this time in west Charlotte.
An eight-inch hole opened up in the turn lane of West Boulevard. That turn lane to Barringer Drive was blocked because of the hole and a crack in the roadway over Irwin Creek, just west of I-77.
Two westbound lanes are closed as crews make repairs but officials expect the closure to last until 2 p.m.
Massive tree topples in Myers Park
Police also had to close a busy street in Myers Park after large branches crashed down overnight.
Selwyn Avenue between Croydon Road and Queens Road West was blocked after the branches fell across the road following the overnight storms.
The branches did not hit any power lines so there were no outages.
Police have both directions closed while crews work to cut up the tree and remove it from the roadway. Drivers are urged to avoid that area as well.
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