Tampa family in fear dealing with growing sinkhole in backyard

Tampa family in fear dealing with growing sinkhole in backyard
Tampa family in fear dealing with growing sinkhole in backyard

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) –  A Tampa family is dealing with a growing sinkhole in their backyard and fear for their safety.

It was caused by work done by Hillsborough County, but the family says the county refused to do anything about it, despite telling them the work was on a list of projects.

“I’ve been very nice. I’ve sent emails over and over again and I’m just not getting anywhere,” Molina said.

Molina said she called the county in August 2013 and in June 2014 a plan was in place to fix the hole. But this project kept getting moved down the priority list because of flooding and other county issues.

“They were going to come and do some type of liner because this is metal. it is not concrete,” said Jennifer Molina, who has lived in the home for 12 years.

“The metal from the saltwater is eroding … that’s how all of this is starting to cave in.”

And the hole continued to grow and grow. Now, it’s the length of a pickup truck, and deep enough in the middle to swallow sticks the homeowners use to gauge the depth.

But after calls to 8 On Your Side, things changed.

Kara Walker, a spokeswoman for the county, said there was a plan in place in 2014 but the work didn’t start because of flooding issues, particularly a heavy storm season in summer 2015.

Within hours of our calls, county workers were at the property and surrounded the hole with a barricade to keep people safe.

Work will start immediately, she said, to fix this hole and it will be completed by July 1.

“I am so happy,” Molina said. “I came home and county trucks were here. I couldn’t believe it.”

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