Water, debris to be removed from massive Land O’ Lakes sinkhole this week

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay area contractor is now set to begin cleanup efforts at the site of the massive sinkhole in Land O’ Lakes that destroyed two homes on Ocean Pines Drive last month.

County commissioners awarded Ceres Environmental Services with the contract Monday.

Commissioners approved $640,099 to cover debris removal with an overall cost of $1.3 million when other expenses are included.

Debris removal is expected to take two to four weeks, but the timeline is reliant upon any unforeseen delays, officials say.

“The other thing is, we don’t know exactly how deep that hole is. We believe it’s about 50 feet deep, but are they going to be able to get the debris at the bottom, and will that affect the sinkhole,” said Doug Tobin, Pasco County spokesperson.

County officials provided this tentative timeline for cleanup efforts this week:

  • TUESDAY: Ceres Environmental Services will establish safe zones around the sinkhole. Crew members tell News Channel 8 that they are coming up with a plan for the rest of the week.
  • WEDNESDAY: Equipment will be put into place but no major work is planned. Crews will work along the surface of the sinkhole.
  • THURSDAY: Water will start being pumped out of the sinkhole.
  • FRIDAY: Officials anticipate operations to be in full swing as long as there are no unexpected issues. Crews will begin dragging debris out of the sinkhole with a crane-like device.

“This timeline could change at any given time if the site manager deems that there’s an unsafe situation,” Tobin said.

Two homes fell into the hole when it opened up on July 14. Five families are currently displaced from their homes.

The sinkhole remains 235-feet wide and roughly 50-feet deep.

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