SUMTER, SC (WIS) - Some Midlands shoppers are calling the Sumter Mall a disgrace. Not because of the shopping, but because of the parking lot.
Shoppers tell WIS-TV that potholes are turning customers away before they even get inside the mall. In fact, one man says he's now facing a more than $2,000 bill after he says the potholes damaged his car.
"When you're driving up and you run through a pothole, that probably will spoil your day," Sumter resident, Howdy Morris, said.
Morris is not the only shopper at the Sumter Mall to complain about the never-ending stretch of potholes in the parking lot.
"This is our only mall and we want people to come to the mall, but they shouldn't have to damage their cars driving around the parking lot. That's disgraceful! The city of Sumter can do better than that," Morris said.
Not your average potholes, according to Morris.
"Those holes are pretty deep," Morris said. "You can rupture a tire, blow out a tire or bend your rim."
Sounds just like what fellow resident Christopher McKnight says happened to him about a month ago.
"Just felt like the whole car – like somebody hit me," McKnight said. "And I got out and looked and both of my rims and tires on my passenger side was bent and broke."
Those repairs will cost McKnight more than $2,000, he says.
"It's $700 per rim and $250 a tire. $2,000 coming off your pocket, just like that, it's not that easy," McKnight said.
Both shoppers say the potholes make the mall and the city look bad.
"It's like nobody don't [sic] care," McKnight said. "It's like it's getting worse – getting more and more this way and more and more that way."
"I know Sumter can do better and I pay my taxes and I just expect better than this. I don't know how many people will continue to come if they don't make improvements," Morris said.
The Hull Property Group, which owns the Sumter Mall tells WIS that repairs are in the works, but that the rainy weather has put them behind schedule.