Eleven homes have been evacuated due to a sinkhole that destroyed two homes and jeopardized a third in the Land O’Lakes community in Pasco County, Florida. It’s the largest in three decades in the county, which has a history of sinkholes.
Residents of four of those homes were able to return to them over the weekend, and five remain evacuated as of this morning.
The sinkhole opened up Friday morning and grew to 225 feet (68 meters) in diameter and 50 feet (15 meters) deep. It took two homes, a car, septic tanks, a swimming pool, and a boat with it.
Thankfully, no one was injured.
On Friday at 7:21 am, the 911 service received a call about a boat that was falling into a hole. About 15 minutes later, firefighters arrived, but were too late, as the boat had already been submerged in the sinkhole.
At this point, the hole was moving toward the house. Firefighters arrived in time to rescue two dogs in the home.
After an hour had elapsed, part of the neighboring home also fell into the ground. Residents were in that home, but they managed to get out safely. That particular home had recently been repaired due to damage from a previous sinkhole.
— Sean O’Reilly (@SeanWFTS) July 14, 2017
Cleanup efforts will begin on Wednesday as county officials, geologists, and insurance adjusters begin the process of figuring out what to do with the properties, local officials said Monday.
The county is testing the water supply in the immediate proximity of the sinkhole today. Many area residents have wells in the area of the sinkhole. Officials say they’re primarily looking for the presence of E. coli, a bacteria found in raw sewage that can cause an array of illnesses and even death. They will also test 11 more homes in the neighborhood at random to be sure contaminants in the sinkhole haven’t compromised wells in the area.
Alex Delgado of the United Way of Pasco County said the agency is raising money to help the families who lived in the two homes that were destroyed and nearby homes, ABC News reports.
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