Yes, sinkholes have struck again in Florida.
The Holiday Travel Park is home to many people, with some living there for over 14 years. On Monday, 63-year-old Anna Maria Boi Jones lost her car to the first collapse. Jones and six other families were evacuated over dangers of more sinkholes forming.
Sandy Nettles of N.S. Nettles & Associates said his early test results show the hole appears to be stable and shouldn’t grow substantially beyond its current size of 10 to 15 feet across and about 15 feet deep. Once he’s confident the sinkhole is stable, Nettles’ next priority is finding a sturdy spot to park a crane that can be used to hoist the car out of the hole. The car and the fluids inside it risk polluting the groundwater, Nettles said, so it needs to be removed before the hole gets filled in. Contractors have suspended their work for Pasco County completing underground work, including dewatering, which is pumping water out of the ground for a sewer lift station. It’s one of two being built in the area.
Some residents believe the construction has something to do with the surprise sinkholes, but geologists discovered they have been slowly forming over the years.
Joe Hamilton is a utility superintendent for David Nelson Construction. He says it’s unlikely the company’s work is to blame. “We’ve been here for about a month and they haven’t had any issues to date, so I can’t imagine their being a connection.”
But the geologist hired by the mobile home park says the holes weren’t caused by the construction and could have been formed here years ago. Nettles says, “Just a quick look at the recent aerial photo versus what we have from the ’40s it shows a large wetland feature. Wetland features are always associated with relic sinkholes.”
Florida has faced dangers of sinkholes in the past. In 2013, Florida resident Jeff Bush was killed when one formed in his bedroom. Another appeared in a Kentucky museum earlier this year, taking down eight vintage Corvettes.
Residents will have to discuss damage costs and restoration with their insurance companies, the county, and the contractors. Until then, many have been living in hotels close to the Travel Park.
SOURCE: USA Today | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc.