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Sinkhole causes two wrecks in Winston-Salem. Bethabara Road still blocked after water-line break
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Sinkhole causes two wrecks in Winston-Salem. Bethabara Road still blocked after water-line break

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Sinkhole on Bethabara Road

A large sinkhole has forced the closure of a section of Bethabara Road because of broken water lines.

A sinkhole that caused heavy damage to two cars and injured one driver still has Bethabara Road blocked, and officials say it may be 5 p.m. Tuesday before the damage is repaired.

Bethabara Road is blocked to through traffic between Silas Creek Parkway and Old Town Road. A deep sinkhole is carved out of the right lane going northwest, but the whole section of roadway is blocked off as being unsafe for drivers until repairs are done.

A 24-inch water main and a smaller 12-inch line that serves residential customers broke in the early morning hours on Monday. By Monday evening, officials with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities said water service had been restored to customers in the area who experienced interruptions in service, although the utility cautioned that water pressure in the area could fluctuate until the repairs are complete.

The break occurred where the water lines cross Monarcas Creek.

Before the roadway could be closed, Winston-Salem police reported, two drivers wrecked their cars because they could not see the sinkhole in time while driving in the darkness.

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At 1:42 a.m. Monday, a 2016 Hyundai struck the sinkhole when the roadway was partially collapsed, police said, noting that the car received $8,000 in damage and was not drivable after the accident. The driver was not injured.

A minute later, police said, a 2006 Hyundai came along the same stretch of the road, traveling the same direction as Johnson and also struck the sinkhole.

This car turned over and came to a stop after wrecking, police said. The driver received injuries considered to be non-life-threatening in the wreck. The car received $12,000 in damage and was not drivable after the wreck.

The line breakage caused nine schools to experience low pressure or no pressure, said Brent Campbell, the chief communications officer for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. All schools had their water service back by 10 a.m., Campbell said, noting no problems with lunch service.

Monday evening, police tape and barricades were in place to keep people away from the deep hole that carved out a section of Bethabara Road when the lines failed. A warning to workers not to stand too close to the edge of the broken asphalt was written onto the roadway at some point during the repair work, which started on Monday but was not completed.

Water still poured from the broken 24-inch main on Monday evening.

The utility said that customers could see discolored water resulting from the service restoration, but that lines can be flushed by running water from a bathtub faucet for a short time. If the water does not clear within a reasonable time, contact City Link at 311 or 336-727-8000.

336-727-7369

@wyoungWSJ

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