Videos tell story of homes destroyed by Land O’ Lakes sinkhole

LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) — A sinkhole started small and continued to grow in Land O’ Lakes on Friday.

A witness noticed a hole under a boat and called 911 at 7:21 a.m. It was about an hour later when neighbors heard the house start to collapse. Thalia Chapman was able to get this first video of the yard sinking.

She lives next door at 21825 Ocean Pine Drive. Thalia, three relatives and six dogs were in her house when they heard a cracking sound loud enough to wake a sleeping person

Officials were at the scene quickly assessing the situation and evacuating home. They said the hole grew to 200 feet wide and 50 feet deep.

Residents were told to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. The hole is still active. Officials said it’s an “unstable situation.”

While reporters were gathered with Pasco County officials, the first home was still falling into the water.

That’s when everyone started pushing back, waiting for the second house to go. About 60 percent of the house fell, destroying it, too.

By noon, the sinkhole was 250 feet wide and appeared to be moving toward a nearby lake. Aerial video from Eagle 8 shows the devastation.

Officials said they have to wait for Mother Nature to finish before they can get to work to make repairs in the neighborhood. Authorities have not been able to contact residents in two other homes. Notices have been placed on the doors of those homes.

Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has set up checkpoints for residents to provide proof of address before they’ll be allowed in. Officials said all the evacuees are staying with relatives for the night.

County officials said they have to wait for the sinkhole to stop growing before they can do much more.

Eleven homes were evacuated, including the two that went into the sinkhole. They said there is so much debris that the water is not receding.

They aren’t sure what direction sinkhole will go.

The movement of the sinkhole slowed to 5-10 feet per hour “It continues to move, its not done,” said Pasco County Assistant County Administrator Kevin Guthrie.

 

MORE:

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SINKHOLES:

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s