SEFFNER, FL (WFLA) — Hillsborough County crews filled in a massive sinkhole Thursday morning that opened in the same spot where a deadly hole opened in 2013. The ground re-opened at 240 Faithway Drive in Seffner on Wednesday morning. That is the same location where a massive sinkhole opened up over two years ago, swallowing a home and killing resident Jeffrey Bush as he slept in his bedroom.
County inspections Wednesday determined that heavy rain during the last few weeks induced the hydraulic stress required to mobilize the gravel and cause it to move downward to the sink throat, causing the new 17-foot wide by 20-foot deep hole to form. After an engineering firm evaluated the new hole, workers began filling in on Thursday with more than 120 tons of gravel and more than 25 thousand gallons of water.
The water was used to help solidify the gravel and create a firm base foundation.
The county says the new hole formed in exactly the same place as the sinkhole which opened in February 2013, killing Jeffrey Bush. Crews were never able to get Bush’s body and the home was demolished a short time after. Even with the new hole opening, authorities tell 8 On Your Side they still can’t get to Bush’s body.
Thursday morning, crews filled the hole with gravel and water to more securely embed the material into the hole. Code Enforcement staff is notifying residents in the immediate area on the progress of the repair. The site is closed to the public and secured with two layers of fencing. Neighbors tell 8 On Your Side they are on edge but the county says they’re in no danger and don’t have to evacuate.
“The first and most important thing for everyone in the neighborhood to know is that they’re safe and this is being addressed right away,” said Ron Spiller with Hillsborough County Code Enforcement.
Spiller says although the hole is filled in now, engineers can not guarantee that it won’t open again. “What they’ve told us is that this may occur again. If it does it will be in the exact same location that it is, that it won’t be any wider,” said Spiller.
Chuck Holloway lives next to the location of the sink hole and says he’s concerned about the hole reopening. “I am worried about it, my family is worried about it. My kids worry about it. My son lives in Dallas Texas and I hear from him anywhere from two or three times per day now to make sure we’re okay,” said Holloway. Holloway has lived in the same home for 29 years and says his property value went down after the hole opened the first time. Now he’s ready to sell his home and move. “As soon as all this gets cleared away, I’m going to bring in a realtor and see how much I can get for my house,” said Holloway.