Corvette Museum’s Wendell Strode Provides Friday Sinkhole Update


Corvette Museum's Wendell Strode Provides Friday Sinkhole Update
Photo Credit: National Corvette Museum

The National Corvette Museum’s staff has been exceptional in providing its members and the media information about the sinkhole that struck on Wednesday morning. On Friday evening, Executive Director Wendell Strode issued this update.

2/14/2014 Update – Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

I apologize in being late in providing an update. The conference room beside my office utilized for meetings today mostly associated with the short term more urgent type issues and mostly involving the Construction Managers and the GeoTech Engineering firm. Discussions included finalizing a plan for Monday and scheduling men and equipment to be here that week when the real work begins.

First on the list is to provide support for the red spire – remember that 30%+ of its foundation is not resting on anything. Some of their engineering talk and discussions on how to build the support were really interesting. It was both surprising and comforting listening in as it was just obvious they had dealt with many similar type situations and this was more like another day at the office for them. Bob Hellmann, our Facilities Manager, was a participant in all the discussions. I was in and out some as we had a few interruptions that we needed to address.

Bob and I had our own meeting with the Construction Managers. Discussion topics included: (1) Work Hours – we told them we could allow 24/7 if that was what they wanted (2) Continuing to allow media access to the Sky Dome for photos and also the CM’s willingness to do interviews with the media (3) parking location for the workers beginning Monday.

Most everyone that lived away from Bowling Greek headed home for the weekend.

For Saturday, we will have the civil engineering firm onsite, WKU’s Center for Cave and Karst Studies faculty onsite and the environmental, Health and Safety engineering firm.

Also on Saturday we will be meeting with Kevin Helmintoller and his wife Linda. They donated the red Mallet with 700 HP that they have enjoyed for several years at events. We had been in touch with them a few times and I agreed to take them back to the Sky Dome to see the sinkhole. Their car has not been seen in any of the photos or the video from the drone or helicopter like thing that WKU Mechanical Engineering students had done on Wednesday. Kevin and Linda will be driving up from Florida for our meeting. I am sure this will be a very emotional moment for all of us and especially them.

When the media asked what were my first thoughts after seeing the sinkhole, I told them I thought of the 3 owners that I had personally worked with and had gotten to know prior to their donating their cars to the NCM. Kevin and Linda were one of those three. The others were David Donoho (Indianapolis) the 1962 and Hill/Karen Clark (Ohio) their 40th anniversary that they drove down and donated when they took delivery of their new 2013.

Psalms 9:10 says “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you Lord have never forsaken those who seek You”. God has been with us through all of this. We know His name and hope to seek His guidance even more in the days ahead.

The Corvette Museum released this dramatic image looking down into the sinkhole.

National Corvette Museum

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