Sin­is­ter sink­hole in south Florida

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

This huge sink­hole in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., that started out the size of a swim­ming pool Fri­day morn­ing on its way to swal­low­ing a boat and de­stroy­ing two homes prompted of­fi­cials to evac­u­ate about a dozen homes in the area. A sink­hole un­der one of the houses was sta­bi­lized in 2014, county records show.

MI­AMI — A sink­hole that started out the size of a small swim­ming pool and con­tin­ued to grow in Florida swal­lowed a boat, de­stroyed two homes and prompted of­fi­cials to evac­u­ate res­i­dents from about a dozen homes Fri­day.

Video showed the home in Land O’ Lakes, north of Tampa in Pasco County, col­laps­ing into the hole Fri­day morn­ing. It quickly en­gulfed one home and a boat and then con­sumed about 80 per­cent of an­other home, said Kevin Guthrie, Pasco County’s as­sis­tant county ad­min­is­tra­tor for pub­lic safety.

By Fri­day af­ter­noon, the hole stretched up to 250 feet wide and 50 feet deep and threat­ened to dam­age a third home, Guthrie said.

Pasco County Fire Chief Shawn Whited told re­porters that no one was home when crews re­sponded to a call about a “de­pres­sion” un­der a boat in the back­yard of a house in Lake Pad­gett Es­tates in Land O’Lakes.

Fire­fight­ers were able to get two dogs out of the home and re­trieve some be­long­ings be­fore the first home started col­laps­ing into the quickly ex­pand­ing hole.

No in­juries have been re­ported.

Eleven homes were evac­u­ated, in­clud­ing the two de­stroyed. County prop­erty records show there was a sink­hole at the prop­erty where the first house was swal­lowed up, and that it had been sta­bi­lized in 2014.

AP/Tampa Bay Times/LUIS SANTANA

AP/Tampa Bay Times/ALESSAN­DRA DA PRA

A crum­pled home sits Fri­day at the site of a 250-foot wide, 50-foot deep sink­hole in Land O’ Lakes, Fla.

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