Rain creates giant sinkhole next to Austin business - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Rain creates giant sinkhole next to Austin business

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A growing problem for one Central Austin business got even bigger this weekend because of the rain.

The owner of Zinger's Hardware says a giant sinkhole outside his store is keeping customers away and he's ready for a fix. The sinkhole opened over the weekend after heavy rains fell Saturday.

"It's not a good situation," Michael Ferweda's patience is growing thin. He owns Zinger's Hardware at 38th and Lamar. The sinkhole is 12 feet deep and 40 feet in length. Beams and piers of the foundation are exposed.

The problems aren't new. Barricades went up in April blocking sidewalk access to his store. "It has significantly affected our business and our traffic counts," Ferweda said.

The management company for the property is Barshop and Oles. The director of property management says the sinkhole has to do with a storm water drain line that runs from Lamar to the a pond behind the shopping center. Engineers are actively working on a solution according to the Director of Property Management Deborah Hornickel.

All the land underneath the sidewalk was washed away through the storm drain and is sitting in the pond.

The sinkhole seemed to be the talk of shoppers inside and outside Zinger's.

"I thought it was scary and made me concerned about my footing at the edge of the hole or if more is going to give way. It could be the gates of hell down there," said Donna Lee, a Zinger's shopper.

"I wanted to get some pictures," said Steve Gillum who snapped several photos Monday.

When engineers start repairs they will need heavy equipment and time. "We're hoping they'll be more proactive in communicating with us and give us a game plane and know this will be made whole," said Ferweda.

As the holiday shopping season nears, Ferweda hopes fixing the problem won't hurt shopping sales.

"We're going into the fourth quarter which is a big time for us, we're not just a hardware store," he said.

The city says the property management company will have a reasonable amount of time to make the repairs and bring the walkway back into compliance.

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