Thave been very few people permitted inside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, since a sinkhole opened up on Wednesday morning and swallowed eight vintage Corvettes. One of them who was allowed in was the museum director Wendell Strode, who showed up to work to view the devastating scene.
Strode stated that where they had once had Corvettes, there was now a giant hole. It was believed to be around 30 ft. deep and 40 ft. wide and eight cars ended up being swallowed by the hole. Six of the cars were owned by the museum, and two were on loan from General Motors. Strode stated that about 25 cars were still inside the dome shaped museum and that they were undamaged. He added that the Bowling Green fire department allowed them to remove the 1983 model.
The six cars that were owned by the museum, which were lost in the sinkhole, were a 1962 black Corvette, a 1984 pace car from the Indy Car Set, the one millionth Corvette and 1.5 millionth Corvettes to be made, a 1993 red 40th anniversary Corvette, and a 2001 Mallett Hammer Corvette. Also involved were two cars GM had let the museum borrow. One was a design idea of a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder, a model which was never produced, and the very first 2009 Blue Devil.
Jason Polk, who is a professor at Western Kentucky University, is a specialist in the studying of sinkholes and stated that the occurrence is not uncommon in the area. It may not be well-known but sinkholes are pretty typical throughout this region of Kentucky, and other parts of the southeastern United States. The weird thing with this once is that it happened inside the Corvette Museum.
Polk was another of the very few non-emergency personnel permitted inside the dome in order to be able to look at the hole. He explained that figured out what caused of the sinkhole would need much more examination. Various things can produce sinkholes. That area of the country has received a lot of rain as of late. It has been an extremely wet winter. So this type of weather could have been a contributing factor, but it is impossible to say at this time, added the professor.
Structural engineers were also going to look at the building itself. As a safeguard, Strode stated that the sky dome area of the museum would be closed until further notice while mechanical engineers were going over the situation. Katie Frassinelli, who was a manager for the museum, confirmed that physical engineers from Clarksville, Tennessee were indeed on location in Kentucky and were looking into the museum building’s damage and fundamental integrity. The museum manager expressed how glad she was that the occurrence happened when no one was in the museum.
There are nearly 5,000 Corvette fans from all around the world already enrolled for a museum celebration to be held August 27th-30th and Frassinelli declared much sadness toward the historical pieces that were damaged and possibly lost for good. Because of the sinkhole, there have been very few people permitted inside the National Corvette Museum.
By Kimberly Ruble