CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Pounding rain caused a pavement failure on a busy road in north Charlotte Wednesday evening.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation had to close a section of Mount Holly-Huntersville Road between W.T. Harris Boulevard and Northlake Center Parkway because of problems with a drain pipe running under the road.
Officials say they believe the roadway will remain closed through Saturday, perhaps longer.
The pipe was apparently clogged and water was running around it instead of through it and ate away at the ground under the road surface.
"It created a void, probably about five feet deep. So far as we can tell it runs almost all the way across the road," said Jeff Littlefield with the DOT.
That section of road had to be closed just as area residents were trying to get home, most with no idea they would have to find another way.
"Well, wait a minute, I'll have to go all the way around," said one woman as she pulled to a stop at the barricade.
Another said she had already driven around and had been told to come back to the other end to try to get in.
Asked how she was going to get home, Cheryl McComas said, "Well, I haven't figured that out yet."
It could have been worse, if not for a DOT worker who noticed the problem as he was just driving along to a job.
Littlefield said because that employee saw what was happening, possible injuries had been avoided since the road may have collapsed with a car going over it.
"It is a big hole, so we're definitely glad he found it," said Littlefield.
It is expected to take until sometime Thursday afternoon to get the road repaired and back open to traffic.