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Heavy rain washes out part of parking lot in Cleveland
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Archie Moore (in white shirt), general manager of the Sonic restaurant in Cleveland, and emergency officials survey the damage after heavy rains washed out part of the parking lot next to the building. - photo by Tasha Biggers

Heavy rains Saturday caused part of a parking lot to collapse at the Sonic restaurant in Cleveland.

The rains washed out an area nearly 100 feet long, according to Dean Dyer of the White County Office of Emergency Management, forcing the restaurant to close at 1121 South Main St./U.S. 129.

The pit extended next door into the parking lot of a car wash.

Dyer said more than 2 inches of rain fell in a short period around noon Saturday, causing the parking lot to wash out in a storm drainage area. He said the result was not a sinkhole, but a "washout" caused by the buildup of water.

Supports for the front awning area of the restaurant collapsed into the hole in front of the building.

Emergency officials cordoned off the area for fear that the hole could get bigger.

"It could get much larger, which could be dangerous," Dyer said.

Archie Moore, general manager of the Sonic, was on hand surveying the damage. Dyer said it may be some time before repairs could be made to the lot. 

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