Mississippi Sinkhole Swallows a Dozen Cars; Spares Local IHOP

Buttermilk pancakes and Western omelets to return after short delay. Crisis averted.

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In Feb. 2014, it was the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Now there’s been another massive, car-swallowing sinkhole, this time at a Meridian, Miss., International House of Pancakes. If the next sinkhole wipes out a midway of deep-fried delicacies at Darlington Raceway, the warning will be clear: God is throwing a tantrum, and wants to send car owners below the Mason-Dixon to a literal Deep South.

The mighty “Mississinki,” as I’ve taken to calling it, carved a parking-lot trench roughly 375 feet long and 35 feet wide. It swallowed more than a dozen cars, but spared the local IHOP, which had opened just days before. Cars tumbled 30 feet into a muddy grave, with rain hampering a recovery that police expected would take several days. One woman left dinner to find her brand-new Ford F-150 in the pit. One very lucky Chevy dangles perilously at the edge.

Buck Roberts, Meridian’s public safety director, told the Meridian Star that the collapse isn’t technically a sinkhole. Real sinkholes are caused by circulating groundwater that dissolves limestone, carbonate or other susceptible rocks below the surface, hollowing out caverns until the land above collapses. Instead, the restaurant had been built over a former city culvert, which may have weakened due to area construction. Roberts, who would probably remind you to pronounce the c in arctic, called it “an accident.”

Not a single injury was sustained. Likely because every man, woman and child was enjoying a Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity®, which IHOP informs us can now be had with peaches, cinnamon apple topping or glazed strawberries, finished with fluffy whipped topping. The IHOP will remain closed for weeks, with Meridian appropriately declared a state of emergency. A little late for that, don’t you think?