It's Deja Vu: Another Sinkhole Swallows Valuable Property
If you remember the news story from last year where an entire house was swallowed up by a sinkhole in Florida, it may seem like deja vu! Yesterday, Corvette aficionados from around the world gasped a collective sigh as they turned on the news and watched the sad news unfold. An enormous sinkhole, forty feet in diameter, swallowed eight extremely rare Corvettes housed in the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The total value of these classic Corvettes is not yet known but it will be in the millions. The Corvettes ranged in age from 1962 to 2009. Six of them had been donated to the museum while two of them were on loan from General Motors. Two of the Corvettes are one of a kind.
The collapsed sinkhole is located in the Sky Dome, a separate dome-shaped exhibit space with a vaulted ceiling that towers one-hundred feet. The Sky Dome is an expansive one-hundred forty feet wide. Some Corvette enthusiasts have compared the feeling of this enormous space to a majestic church cathedral. In fact, the entire National Corvette Museum is considered a hallowed place for Corvette fans. Needless to say, emotions are running high.
Although this is a shocking event, everyone should be reminded that the museum is only a few miles from the Mammoth Cave National Park, an elaborate system of caves. Furthermore, the museum is located in a region of Kentucky called the Western Pennyroyal area, known for its underground cavernous systems made of karst, a type of limestone. While some of the museum staff cried, others were in such deep shock they haven't yet shed tears. Luckily, the actual event occurred around 5:44 a.m. local time, as determined by the motion detectors, when no one was around to get hurt. This could have been a much greater disaster if it had occurred a just a few hours later in the day when people would have been inside the Sky Dome.
Not wanting to risk being swallowed up themselves, scientists from Western Kentucky University who were called to investigate, used remote controlled drones to explore the site of destruction. It's almost hard to imagine but the Sky Dome infrastructure surrounding the sinkhole suffered no discernable structural damage. However, the photos and video of the sinkhole with the classic corvettes piled on top of each other look so devastating, it is like something out of an apocalyptic movie.
While the rest of the museum will remain open to the public, the Sky Dome has been shut off to the public until structural engineers can determine if the area is safe. The timing of this disaster is very unfortunate as the museum is planning a big event in August to celebrate its 20th anniversary. They are also planning to dedicate a new one-hundred eighty-four acre motorsports park at the same time but they assure the public that the sinkholes discovered during its construction were all intentionally collapsed. Would you feel safe attending?
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