Crews look at stability of Florida sinkhole that swallowed 2 homes

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By: Associated Press
July 24, 2017

Courtesy: WTSP - CBS Tampa

LAND O'LAKES, Fla. (AP) -- Crews are starting core drilling to assess the stability around a sinkhole in Florida that swallowed two homes and a boat.

Pasco County spokesman Doug Tobin said in a news release the work will begin Monday in Land O'Lakes.

Tobin says the crews will look for anomalies in the roadway to make sure it's safe for heavy equipment. He says removal quotes are due by 5 p.m. Monday. He says the goal is to have a debris removal company in place for the county in case homeowner's insurance companies don't accept responsibility to clean up the sinkhole.

Officials noted the sinkhole, which began July 14, isn't getting deeper, but it's getting wider as its banks fall in. It currently measures about 235 feet wide and 50 feet deep.

By: Associated Press
July 19, 2017

LAND O'LAKES, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida sinkhole that swallowed two homes isn't getting any deeper, but it is getting wider.

The sinkhole's banks are falling in because there's no support for the sandy soil as it dries out.

Pasco County officials said Wednesday that the sinkhole is now about 235 feet wide, about 10 feet wider than it was several days ago. It remains 50 feet deep.

Because of the growth, residents of two additional homes have been warned they may need to evacuate. They were told to gather their belongings in preparation of leaving.

Five homes near the sinkhole have already been evacuated.

Assistant county administrator Kevin Guthrie also says water samples from 17 wells in the neighborhood will be re-tested for any signs of contamination.

By: CBS News
July 14, 2017

LAND O' LAKES, Fla.(CBS) -- Residents are being evacuated in a Florida neighborhood due to a massive sinkhole that's already swallowed two houses and a boat.

CBS affiliate WTSP-TV reports a depression the size of a small pool first formed at around 8:30 a.m. on Friday in Land O' Lakes, and quickly grew. Authorities say one home on Ocean Pines Drive was completely destroyed and another is 50 to 60 percent damaged. No one was home at the time.

Rescue crews went into the destroyed house and saved two dogs, officials said.

Authorities urged neighbors to collect their belongings to prepare for the evacuations, as the size of the hole is increasing. Crews are maintaining a 200-foot perimeter around the sinkhole, which is about 50 to 100 feet deep.

About 100 homes were left without power. It remains unclear when electricity will be restored in the area. No injuries were reported.

County property records show there was a sinkhole previously at the property where the first house was swallowed up, and that it had been "stabilized," in 2012. The home last sold in 2015, according to records.

Sinkholes are stabilized by boring holes into the ground and injecting concrete.

Kevin Guthrie, Pasco County's assistant county administrator for public safety, said 10 other homes in the neighborhood have been tagged unsafe and the residents have been voluntarily evacuated. He said firefighters and deputies helped people get some of their belongings out of their homes.

"It was frightening," Guthrie said. "The people coming out of those houses were frightened. Mother Nature is going to take what Mother Nature takes."

The American Red Cross is assisting residents who have been displaced.

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