Sinkhole Condemns Live Oak Businesses

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Live Oak, Florida -July 2, 2012

Residents in Live Oak, Florida are steadily recovering after the flood, but some downtown businesses are now being condemned because of Sinkholes.

"I estimate I had probably $70,000 to $80,000 in inventory here. And I lost well over half of it," said store owner Barney Everett.

Everett sifts through his flood damaged store, wondering if he will ever be able to open "Big Wheel Market Place" again. Not because of the water, but because of the massive sinkhole under it.

The sinkhole opened up in the middle of the street downtown near the courthouse. Now each of the businesses in its path have been condemned.

U.S. 90 in Downtown Live Oak was covered in chest deep water on Tuesday, June 26th. The flooding opened up countless sinkholes including this one. Now major structural damage has caused at least two businesses to be closed by the city.

"So I don't know whether I'll open up or not. There's no other place. Two or three of the other store owners are discouraged. They're going to quit," said Everett.

But just across the street, other flood washed stores are recovering just fine. They haven't had the sinkholes to contend with. The owner of Hal A. Airth Law Firm is already open for business, but is still suffering financially because of the flood.

"No we didn't expect the flood. Nobody had flood insurance. Flood insurance is so expensive," Everett said.

Florida Governor Rick Scott visited this very sinkhole himself Thursday as part of his tour of the flood damage.