Florida sinkholes threaten homes and cars - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Florida sinkholes threaten homes and cars

Posted: Updated:
A car fell into one of the sinkholes in Holiday, FL, north of Tampa. A car fell into one of the sinkholes in Holiday, FL, north of Tampa.

(NBC News) - A pair of sinkholes have opened up in a Florida mobile home park, forcing families to evacuate amid fears a third hole could gobble up homes.

The first hole formed Monday in Pasco County, growing to 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep and swallowing a Hyundai. The second opened Tuesday in a roadway and swelled to 10 feet wide. No other cars or property were damaged and no injuries have been reported. Six families have been evacuated from the area.

Officials told NBC affiliate WFLA that it appeared a third sinkhole could open up at the mobile home park. "There's no way I would have come down to Florida if I thought my house was gonna go," Penny Sharpe, who lives in a house right next to the spot where geologists say a third hole could open up. "No. I came down for some R-and-R and good times."

Sharpe and many evacuees from seven mobile homes are staying at the nearby Fairfield Inn, with the park's owners picking up the tab.

"About to lose your home, you couldn't get insurance on it. So, what do you do?" she said, sitting in the Fairfield Inn lobby.

Exactly why these sinkholes are here now is a mystery but geologists testing the soil have a prime suspect: pumping for a new storm sewer system, right next door.

"Whatever has stimulated this, it could have been the pumping, they were de-watering, so they were lowering the water table , that changed the hydraulics, the pressures in the ground and that might have been the trigger," said Sandy Nettles.

Late Tuesday night an official with Pasco County Utilities revealed they would temporarily suspend work in the area near the sinkholes.

Spokesperson Doug Tobin stated, "Pasco Utilities is taking this action in the spirit of mutual cooperation into what is causing the depressions in the area."

Tobin said the county was working on a sewer lift station in the area.

Powered by Frankly