Fox News Weather Center

Cave-in Swallows More Than 12 Cars Outside of Brand New Mississippi IHOP

A portion of a parking lot and surrounding soil longer than a football field caved in on Saturday in Meridian, Mississippi, swallowing more than a dozen cars.

The incident occurred just feet away from a new IHOP restaurant.

According to local TV station KSLA, witnesses heard a series of booms before the power went out.

Local officials are not calling the opening a sinkhole, but a "cave-in." A cause has not been confirmed, but the investigation will continue on Monday.

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No injuries were reported.

Meridian Public Safety Director Buck Roberts said engineers and contractors would be on scene Monday to try to determine the cause of the collapse, the Meridian Star reported.

Meridian, about 90 miles east of Jackson, Mississippi, has received a significant amount of rain over the past week.

"In general, any rainfall greater than 2 inches can saturate the ground and weaken it," AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said.

"About 2.75 inches of rain fell Friday night into Saturday, with the heaviest rain falling from midnight Friday to about 5 a.m. local time Saturday," he said.

Roughly 2 inches fell in the five-hour time span.

"A cold front was slowly moving through the area, which led to showers and thunderstorms for that area through much of Saturday," Travis said.

The area has already experienced above-normal rainfall from the end of October to early November. From Oct. 26 to Nov. 9, five times the normal amount of rain has fallen over the region.

On average, 2 inches of rain falls over the area during the two-week period.