If you’ve ever described your stomach as a “bottomless pit,” you’re in good company: an unsettling sinkhole recently opened up beneath a Hardee’s drive-thru in York County, Pennsylvania. To my knowledge, Hardee’s associates haven’t identified any terrifying creatures climbing out of the abyss in search of charbroiled goodness, but it’s only been a few days.
York County Hardee’s manager Tim James told a local ABC affiliate that the sinkhole had been around for some time. Up until last week, it’s been a perfectly manageable little dent in the road. Unfortunately, it got worse after the area experienced about four inches of rain. The rain sunk the sinkhole to a precarious depth, which you can see in photos captured by the ABC affiliate.
Once the sinkhole settled, local code officials decided the building was unstable and ordered it to close. What will become of the York County Hardee’s? That remains unclear. The township reportedly gave the restaurant an emergency permit to stabilize a wall; however, I don’t see any customers cruising through that unstable drive-thru any time soon. Per the U.S. Geological Survey, further rainfall could cause the underlying rock to dissolve, creating “underground spaces and caverns.” The geological authority writes: “Sinkholes are dramatic because the land usually stays intact for a period of time until the underground spaces just get too big. If there is not enough support for the land above the spaces, then a sudden collapse of the land surface can occur.”
The way I see it, there are two outcomes here. Best-case scenario, you have an extraordinarily bumpy ride through the drive-thru, jostling your BLT Ranch Angus Thickburger beyond recognition. Worst-case scenario, the sinkhole crumbles beneath your P.T. Cruiser, sending you into a dank cavern full of all manner of slimy, sightless creatures. Not worth the risk.