BEAUFORT, CARTERET COUNTY -

Crews are working to repair an intersection that has a large sinkhole in Carteret County.

The sinkhole is located on Live Oak Street at Ann Street in Beaufort.

Crews said the sinkhole developed on Tuesday, and was caused by a collapsed pipe and excessive rain and runoff.

The intersection is partially blocked off as crews work to make repairs Wednesday.

The sinkhole actually started out as just a few cracks in the middle of Live Oak and Ann Streets but that all changed Wednesday night around 7 when the earth opened up and revealed a large sinkhole.

Local artist Jimmy Craig Womble works just a few feet away from the sinkhole.

"They had cones out there yesterday and right in the middle of the street and I guess that's what happened-what started it," said Womble.

 The Town of Beaufort's Public Works Department has seen a few sinkholes around town but this was the biggest one they've had to restore.

"We had some small ones. Nothing to this scale. Usually you can just put some cold patch in it and that will take care of it temporarily but this is the first large one that we've had since we had all the rain," said Public Utilities Director Donovan Willis.

 Willis says the recent heavy rainfall could be part of the reason the sinkhole showed up.

Womble says he's seen the effects of the rainfall starting a few weeks ago. He says before the sinkhole appeared, Live Oak Street was flooded on and off as a result of the heavy precipitation.

"The rains we had were so heavy but I've never seen it flood like that. I've been here for going on 3 years now and I've never seen flooding like we had a couple weeks ago," said Womble.

An older infrastructure could also be part of the reason the sinkhole formed, according to Willis.

As for Womble, he's not too concerned about the gaping hole outside his front door.

"This is all Beaufort. Its old stuff so replace everything over the next couple years I guess," said Womble.

The collapsed storm drain will be replaced by the end of Thursday but there's no word yet on how long it will take to fill this sinkhole.