Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sinkhole Update


Car is gone….not removed, just gone.  Actually, you can barely see a small corner of it just to the left of that line in the concrete.  Also look at the tree which once stood tall, it may be swallowed up too.  (This is a follow-up on our last blog about a sinkhole which opened up within 800 feet of our Condo front door.)

sink2   sink3

Above left was the car Monday early afternoon.  Above right was the car Monday late afternoon.  Now, so little shows that essentially it is totally submerged.  “Why did they not hook up a tow truck while they had a chance?” you might ask.  Well, I have an answer to that….


Because now there are TWO sinkholes!  In fact, they were just hours away yesterday (Tuesday) from having a tow truck come in and try and pull the car out….and they said that the two truck was going to be located, yep, you guessed it, right on top of where the second sink hole broke through!  


But wait….this act is not over just yet.  They have determined that there is a third sinkhole, still totally underground, but on the verge of falling in also!  The second one was to the north of the first one, the third one is to the south of the first one.   So, what do you think caused this rash outbreak of sinkholes???


Yep, the construction along the street which has taken who knows how many thousands and thousands of gallons of water out of the ground.  Here is the official word…..
The geologist, Sandy Nettles of N.S. Nettles & Associates, said Tuesday 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.  (
While geologists examine the holes, the county has halted nearby construction work on a sewer lift station, which included pumping out groundwater. (
Neighbors and the property manager of the Holiday Travel Park near Torch and Button Streets blame a sewage utility project next door. "To have this happen - it was a matter of time - you can't take water out you can't expect this not to happen."
But, why did it take so long to discontinue the work?
"What prompted us to suspend work was the further occurrence of another sinkhole," said Kennedy. During construction, water was being pumped from underground, which he says is pretty typical. He added, a deep foundation analysis isn't typical and wasn't done.  (
Nettles said records show the land used to be part of wetlands. Those wetlands, he said, were likely created by sinkholes and later covered by development.  “They can be stable for hundreds of years, and sometimes once they start moving, you get more action," Nettles said.  It is still unclear what exactly triggered the holes. Nettles said he will review data from recent rainstorms and look for other possible causes. Because the county's work altered the water table in the area, Nettles said, it could have been a catalyst.

That theory is the favored one of property manager Larry Pickering. "It just seems like if you draw a lot of water out of one spot, one area, something's going to happen," he said.

The county initially said there was no indication that the work was tied to the holes, but Pasco spokesman Doug Tobin announced late Tuesday that work in the area has stopped until geologists determine the cause of the depressions.
"It's not our intention to create problems like this. I don't know that we've created the problem — that's for the experts to sort out," said Bruce Kennedy, the assistant county administrator for utilities.  On Wednesday, Kennedy said builders "need to get back on schedule" with the multimillion-dollar sanitation project because there are "cost consequences" that come with delays.  Kennedy said the construction crews working on the sewer system likely did some shallow ground tests before they began, but sinkholes are a fact of life in a state built on limestone that is susceptible to cracking.  "It's unfortunate that we live in a sinkhole-prone world here in Florida," he said.  (

I do give a big “thumbs up” to the property owner of the mobile home park.  Six trailer owners have been ordered to evacuate from the their trailers.  The mobile home park is putting them up in a nearby Marriott Fairfield Inn.  Not sure that he “had to” do this, but it was the right thing to do.  As for the hotel, he could have put them in much junkier places than a Marriott Fairfield Inn.  They are two miles away from home, and Fairfield Inns are fairly comfortable, and include a light breakfast each morning.  

So far only the one trailer home has been condemned.  It is uncertain as to the status of insurance of those who are possibly affected…. although one report stated that at least two don’t have any insurance at all.  One guy was quoted as saying, “Most of us in here are dirt poor….living month to month on a small income.”   Many are in their ‘70’s and ‘80’s. 


  1. I feel badly and will continue to pray... for all affected, and all who may be affected in the future. Hopefully, it won't happen with anymore sinkholes. Just so you know, I have a friend who lost her home in Florida, due to a sinkhole problem. :( Blessings... Lynn

    1. Sometimes tragedy hits those who can least afford this case the poor, older folks living day by day in a nice, friendly yet humble environment. Then their world is turned upside down....

  2. Oh my, the story keeps getting worse. Those who can least afford it seems often to be the case. I have always wondered how we can be so sure when we extract anything from the ground that we aren't doing serious harm. Thanks for the update. I hope you are in no danger. Have insurance companies in Florida excluded sinkhole damage yet or made it extremely expensive??

    1. You have to have separate insurance for sinkholes, "if" your property qualifies for it. With the amount of water this company was pumping out of the huge hole they dug to put the sewer pump station in, it is not surprising that something like this would happen....especially since the trailer park is on old wetlands. Not sure if the condo property is on old wetlands or just on the edge of it, our property does seem to be a good 5 feet higher than the mobile home park.

  3. You made it on the national news! We saw the story of the second sinkhole on Tuesday and were hoping that it didn't affect your complex. I feel so sorry for those poor people. Losing your home at any age is bad but when you're that old it's really hard and living in a hotel, no matter how nice, is nothing like being in your own home.

    1. I would be very surprised if this carried over into our condo area, if it does it does, not much one can do about it. We all feel for these people over guy says, "I am too old to deal with this sinkhole, with the media, with the police...." I think he just wants things to go back to normal, can't blame him for that.


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