Florida Sinkhole Reopens and Threatens Neighborhood

    April 20, 2014
    Rachel Kolman
    Comments are off for this post.

A Florida Sinkhole more than 25 feet across and 50 feet deep opened up between two homes this weekend in the Florida residential community “The Villages.” The hole opened after heavy rainfall in the area put stress on the soil, causing the ground to collapse. This new sinkhole comes just weeks after a previous sinkhole was filled in on the same property. Crews had just finished completely filling and securing the first hole on Friday night when they were back on Saturday night to treat an adjacent, and larger, sinkhole. (I think it’s time to look into some new property, homeowners!)

Thankfully, no one was injured, and both families were out of the house when parts of their yard and driveway were sucked into the hole. Crews this time worked round the clock Saturday and Sunday morning to work on filling the dangerous hole as soon as possible. This much larger hole has great potential to spread and open even larger next time, threatening the entire block and even neighborhood. Currently, the hole is being filled with 115 truckloads of grout, with sand hole crews telling local news they’ll lay dirt, grass, and landscaping starting on Monday.

One of the homes is also secured with steel pinnings directly to the limestone, which can keep the structure in place if another hole opened. ‘The house isn’t going to go anywhere, as long as the hole doesn’t move much past where it is right now,’ geologist Drew Glasbrenner says. ‘You can never know for sure but the repair should slow it down and eventually stop it from expanding,’ he added.

County officials say that if sinkholes continue to be a problem in the area (which is likely during the rainy season), more residents could be asked to evacuate their homes as a safety precaution. This is an all too common problem in Florida, which is only second behind Minnesota in most sinkholes in the United States. Three Tampa Bay counties – Hernando, Pasco, and Hillborough – are known as “sinkhole alley,” as two-thirds of all of Florida’s sinkhole damage comes from that area.

What exactly causes these holes to open in the ground? For one, Florida’s peninsula is made of porous carbonate limestone rocks, which are rocks that help move water underground. Over time, these rocks dissolve and from an acid created by the oxygen molecules in water, creating gaps underneath the limestone roof. When the pressure on the surface becomes too much for the limestone roof to carry, the roof collapses and the dissolved limestone hole is exposed. The most extreme case of sinkhole damage happened just last February, when Florida man Jeffrey Bush was sucked into a sinkhole that opened underneath his bedroom. Despite an exhaustive search, his body was never found.

Image via The Weather Network

  • Matt

    That last sinkhole pic is supposedly of a Guatemalan sinkhole, it may or may not have been photoshopped – it is NOT the Bowling Green KY Corvette museum sinkhole – – another example of shoddy article composition, which only serves to damage WebProNews’ credibility.

    • Geronimo Smith

      Matt, HOW in the world do you know that? That hole looks like someone took a HUGH HUGH drill and just let it drill into HELL. I could never live where these sinkholes are occuring, no matter even if it was FREE homes and FREE rent. Life would be like a ROULETTE WHEEL, maybe here now, and GONE tomorrow.

      • wonderjam

        Matt knows the specific sinkhole is in Guatemala because it came about in the news when it occurred.

      • Joan Guernier

        I personally never heard of sinkholes in any of those counties in the last 30-40 years or in Florida for that matter.

        • Vicki

          If a tree falls in the forrest and u weren’t there to hear it does it mean it didn’t happen….?

      • Geronimo’s brain

        Hey Geronimo…. Does that mean you don’t drive in a car either? Or take a shower? Cuz the chances of you dying by sinkhole are 10000 times less than these… You Sinkhole….

      • Barbara Richards

        Matt is probably a graphic designer in his day job. They’re all suspicious of photos to the point of ridiculousness. Trust me. They all judge the photos!

      • Guest

        What, exactly, is “a HUGH HUGH drill”? Do you mean Hugh Grant and Hugh Hefner teamed up to drill that hole? Or is it that you simply are but marginally literate, like the author of this bit of shoddy “journalism”?

  • Gary Jenkins

    throw the bald headed governor into the hole and jeb, too. that’ll fill it up good. just saying.

    • John Smith

      Definitely Jeb for sure and Obama as well.

      • Gary Jenkins

        yo, man?!!!

      • Patty Cita

        throw harry greed into the mix

  • Don Geo

    Its hard to get sinkhole insurance coverage in Fl.. that should tell u something if u choose to buy here.

  • Joe Stitzel

    sinkhole insurance may be cheaper than nobamacare, apparently there is no bottom to the lying hole nobama is.

    • Bunkster

      Does your mom have a hairy hole ?

      • Joe Stitzel

        not sure, but you can sniff my hole to see if i inherited hers, haha Jackass ! now go rosy palm your life away till you croak and are forgotten. bye punk-ster

    • cobra3921

      You got Obama in the brain.Would send you to get some mental help but the Florida controlled Repubs made sure Florida has one of the worst healthcare systems in the U.S.Have fun dying in your sinkhole of a state.

  • Pat

    The LARGEST Sinkhole in the U.S. is the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT !

  • sam atk

    Florida is prone to natural disasters like sinkholes

  • Suzanne Rosenorn

    Thats pretty deep. Minnesota has the most sinkholes? Why is that?

    • Robert Young

      Because the land was scoured by glaciers in the ice age, creating depressions. These often were filled in as lakes but in some cases the air pocket got covered by the ground. Notice Canada also has a LOT of lakes…just look at the map.

  • OZMA

    this house isn’t going anywhere — as long as the sinkhole doesn’t come any closer — yeah, they got that house safe for sure. dumb a$$

    • Patty Cita

      i wouldnt spend 1 night in that house

  • dee152432451842

    They happen everywhere now, ohio, Michigan, you name it. I say FRACKING.

    • david

      I say you need to educate yourself on Florida sub soil, and lay off fracking because its obvious that you are ignorant on that subject!

      • blacksunshine84

        Why should he shut up? It’s a valid point he makes. Government says that vibrations from new construction cause sinkholes, so why not fracking?

        • david

          Where is all this fracking taking place! I do not know of one place in this area that fracking has occurred? If you can notify me of this location i will stand corrected and shut my mouth!

          • blacksunshine84

            I don’t know where in Florida that it is taking place, but obviously it is or Florida lawmakers wouldn’t have passed legislation in January allowing corporations to keep secret the chemicals they use in the process.

            From the Tampa Bay Times this week.

            “The Texas company that stirred controversy by applying to drill for oil in Florida panther habitat was doing more with one of its wells than what its state permit allowed.
            The Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Friday afternoon revealed that it had fined the Dan A. Hughes Co. $25,000 for violating its permit. The violation involves using a process that sounds like fracking — although the word “fracking” appears nowhere in either Friday’s DEP news release or the legal paperwork about the fine from 10 days earlier

            …..However, the DEP news release says Hughes “proposed an enhanced extraction procedure that had not previously been used in Florida. The company proposed to inject a dissolving solution at sufficient pressure to achieve some openings in the oil-bearing rock formation that would be propped open with sand in pursuit of enhancing oil production.”

            That matches the dictionary definition of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking: “the forcing open of fissures in subterranean rocks by introducing liquid at high pressure, especially to extract oil or gas.” Florida Petroleum Council executive director David Mica said it may mean Hughes was fracking, or it could mean it used one of several similar procedures.”

  • bobjr4freedom

    These sinkholes are unbelievable.I too think homeowners should look elsewhere for their safety.

  • Bruce Ramsey

    RE-opens? You mean it was closed for a while? Well, what’s with all these sink holes now?

  • artman

    This gives a whole new meaning to “STAND YOUR GROUND”!

  • Eric R

    Anybody else notice the face in the picture of the florida sinkhole?

    • Fredrick Eddy

      that’s funny but yes it looks like the face of JESUS

  • Fred Suero


  • John Staley

    Shiver me timbers – It’s always a bummer when your house goes down the hatch !

  • blacksunshine84

    If vibrations from construction can cause sinkholes, what about fracking?

  • Anna

    So much for moving to Florida!

  • William Adams

    Oxygen or carbon dioxide for dissolving

  • http://www.brickellprincess.com/ Brickell Princess

    You can tell there’s money in that hood otherwise officials would have allowed the sinkhole to “stabilize”. In other words, grow till it swallows enough homes to fill itself.

  • Carey

    The idiot from CNN needs to start doing his research before tweeting pictures that are misleading. That particular sinkhole is in Guatemala.

  • Jay T

    The above hole in Guatemala would make for a great sht-hole………get it, sht-hole?