A sinkhole that opened up Friday morning, July 14, 2017, in the Pasco County’s Land O’ Lakes community near Tampa, western Florida continues to grow and has so far consumed a boat, 2 homes, and a pool. The event forced authorities to evacuate numerous homes as a precaution. No one was injured.
According to authorities, the sinkhole was first reported at 07:21 EDT (11:21 UTC) today as a depression. It started out as the size of a small pool under a boat on the property of one of the destroyed homes in the Ocean Pines Drive.
Over the next 15 minutes, the hole swallowed the boat and was starting to move toward one of the houses. Shortly after, the house located at 21835 Ocean Pines Drive went into the sinkhole.
By 08:23 EDT, it reached the roadway, partially swallowing another home and forcing authorities to evacuate 11 nearby homes.
As of Friday afternoon, the hole grew into a 68-m-wide (225 feet) crater with an estimated depth of 15 m (50 feet). It continues consuming nearby infrastructure and officials fear that it could merge into a nearby lake. About 100 homes in the area are without power as a safety precaution. Boating in the nearby lake is suspended.
A 61-m-wide (200 feet) buffer around the hole was established as a safety precaution.
Roads in the area have been closed and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has set up checkpoints, allowing only residents in with proof of address at Cloverleaf and Pine, Grove and Pine, Lake Padgett Drive and Ocean Pines Drive.
Authorities said there has been a sinkhole in this same area five years ago.
Featured image: Growing sinkhole swallows 2 homes in Pasco County, Florida – July 14, 2017. Credit: ABC Action News