Florida Sinkhole Swallows Home, Continues To Grow

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TAMPA (CBSMiami/AP) — An expanding sinkhole in a suburb just north of Tampa has swallowed a boat, a home and partially swallowed another home.

“We received a 911 phone call stating that there was a small depression underneath a boat,” said Asst. Pasco County Administrator Kevin Guthrie.

In minutes, that depression had grown into a giant sinkhole. Within an hour, it had swallowed two houses and was getting bigger.

Pasco County firefighters evacuated several homes in the Land O’ Lakes neighborhood.

Officials who got there first say the hole opened up and swallowed the first house quickly.

“It’s about 200 feet wide. We’re estimating about 50 feet deep, at this point. It’s continuing to grow in the direction of the lake,” said Guthrie.

It has reached into the roadway.

Power was out in about 100 homes in the area of the sink hole, crews were working to restore it.

A property appraiser says the ground where a sinkhole occurred was stabilized in 2014.

A previous sinkhole at the same Land O’Lakes home and an adjacent property was identified in 2012. Pasco County Property Appraiser Gary Joiner said stabilization, with a process called grouting, was completed in 2014.

Joiner says dozens of pipes were driven up to 60 feet down into ground beneath the properties, then pumped full of concrete to stabilize the soil.

The home was sold in July 2015.

In the meantime, there isn’t much that anyone can do to help.

“We’re just waiting for Mother Nature to do her thing,” said Pasco County Fire Chief Shawn Whited.

In Land o’Lakes, that means hoping that sinking feeling stops and soon.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the sinkhole. Two pets were rescued from the location.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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