SEFFNER, Fl (WFLA) – The sinkhole that opened in a Seffner neighborhood has grown since it began. County engineers say the hole is now 28 feet across, and they estimate it is at least 30 feet deep.
Jennifer Torres and her family live in a home just a few feet from the edge of the hole. “Since it opened, we have been out of our house,” said Torres. She lives in the home with her sister, parents, and an aunt and uncle.
On Friday, they were given just two hours to collect what they could from the home and get out. “We’ve just been trying to see if we can go in and get our furniture out,” said Torres.
Now they are waiting for engineers to develop a plan to fill in the giant sinkhole and to tell them it’s safe to go back into their homes.
“It just all depends on the engineers coming out and telling us whether or not it’s safe for us to move back in and whether code enforcement would allow us to move back in,” said Torres.
Monday an engineering team used ground-penetrating radar to give a better picture of the surrounding soil so they will know if there are any other problems developing underground.
“Preliminarily, we’ve determined that the depth has not changed. The width did grow this weekend. However, right now it’s looking like it’s stable. There is no evidence of fissures in the ground or damage to the structures. Therefore, we are tentatively thinking that it’s stable at this point,” said Jon-Paul Lavandeira with Hillsborough County.
Torres just want to be able to get back into her home to salvage whatever belongings she can. “We’ve lived here for several years, so it’s really strange to be told you can’t go back into your house, but we don’t want any of us to get hurt and don’t want anyone else to get hurt,” said Torres.