ROME, Ga. — Strong storms that moved through Floyd County on Thursday night are being blamed for a retaining wall collapse along the edge of a Rome cemetery, exposing some of the caskets buried below.
Elice Trotter told Channel 2's Christian Jennings that she was sitting on her porch around 8 p.m., shortly after the storm passed, when she heard a loud noise across South Broad Street that caught her attention.
“I glanced over there and the wall was falling,” Trotter said.
The retaining wall runs along the edge of Rome's historic Myrtle Hill Cemetery. It had crumbled onto the sidewalk.
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Pictures taken by RealFastNews.com show two of the vaults with caskets inside exposed.
Trotter said she stayed calm but one of her neighbors was a bit panicked by the situation.
“She said, ‘Oh, we're going to wake up in the morning and all these graves are going to be out in the street,’” Trotter told Jennings.
Thankfully, that didn't happen.
“It was due to the ground saturated from all the water, as you can tell. We've had record-breaking rain in this area,” Trotter said.
Public Works Director Chris Jenkins told Jennings that crews are working to get estimates to replace the 50 feet of wall that collapsed.
“Right now, what you're seeing is covering it up with plywood, covering the exposed area that was visible, of the vaults,” Jenkins said.
Trotter said things could have been worse.
“There's a new grave that's just right on the edge of the wall. Luckily, the wall didn't fall any further,” Trotter said.
The cemetery dates back to 1857. Jenkins said crews have had to replace some of the walls farther back in the cemetery but never the one that collapsed.
Cox Media Group