Sinkhole in Florida widens; 2 more houses condemned

By Allen Cone   |   Aug. 6, 2017 at 10:46 AM
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Aug. 6 (UPI) -- A massive sinkhole in western Florida has widened as two more homes were condemned.

On July, 14, the sinkhole destroyed two homes and forced the evacuation of another 11 residences in Land O' Lakes in Pasco County.

On Friday, two of those houses that were evacuated were condemned as the sinkhole widened by about 30 feet to an estimated 260 feet at its widest point and around 50 feet deep.

Officials said they believe seismic vibrations from trucks and construction equipment around the hole can be blamed for the widening. Kevin Guthrie, assistant county administrator of public safety in Pasco, said the hole is no longer active.

Building inspectors found the foundations of the two homes had shifted. Inspectors also found buckled tile, cracked walls and split granite inside the homes.

Guthrie, who said the cleanup will take two to three weeks barring any more problems, said they want to ensure no one is injured.

"If we have to slow down, we slow down," he said. "Speed is not of the essence here."

The Pasco County Commission awarded Ceres Environmental Services $640,000 to clean the sinkhole.

The cleanup crew plans to bring in 27 dump trucks of crushed lime rock for a ramp into the hole to remove debris. They also want to decontaminate the water.

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