Green Guide

Florida sinkhole swallows home and boat parked outside

Posted July 14

— A sinkhole that started out the size of a small swimming pool and continued to grow has swallowed a home in Florida and severely damaged another.

Pasco County Fire Chief Shawn Whited said during a news conference that crews were called to the home north of Tampa about 7:30 a.m. Friday after someone noticed a depression had formed under a boat parked outside a house. Within minutes, he says, "the hole opened up."

Whited says the residents had left for work, but firefighters rescued two dogs and retrieved some of the home's belongings. By 8:30 a.m., part of the house collapsed. An hour later, the sinkhole had swallowed most of the home and a portion of the one next door.

County building officials have deemed about 10 homes unsafe and say more may be affected.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Duke Energy has cut power to about 100 homes in the neighborhood.

6 Comments

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  • George Corvin Jul 15, 4:34 p.m.
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    I think I understand and agree with what you've said, I am just trying to understand the direct connection between seawater rise and a phenomenon that has always existed in limestone rich land masses where there is flowing water. It certainly seems like a very bad idea to build on an area that has already been affected by a sinkhole, but such events (and cave formation) occurs in areas many hundreds of miles away from the coast, and Florida has been known for sinkholes long before we built houses on top of them. I guess I just don't want to lump all man's ills including the common cold to the rising sea level issue if it isn't an accurate conclusion.

  • Stacie Hagwood Jul 15, 12:01 p.m.
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    Most of Florida will be under water. The current issue and nothing new, is the underground rivers and how Florida has attempted to drain wetlands and convert wet areas into "dry" ground. It has already been noted that sea water is encroaching into fresh water aquifers in low-lying areas.

  • George Corvin Jul 14, 7:04 p.m.
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    So I think Land O' Lakes is 17 miles or so from the coast. What does rising sea level have to do with this sinkhole?

  • Stacie Hagwood Jul 14, 5:38 p.m.
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    Get used to it; it is only going to get worse as sea level rises. Great article in this month's National Geographic regarding what is happening in Antarctica and how it will eventually affect all of us. In the future the only thing in Miami WILL be the dolphins.

  • Catherine Edwards Jul 14, 5:00 p.m.
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    At least after a fire you can rebuild. These people have nothing now. It looks like quicksand.

  • Brenda Love Jul 14, 3:14 p.m.
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    Will homeowners insurance cover this?