Seventh home condemned in Florida sinkhole disaster


Two more homes have been condemned because of a Florida sinkhole that swallowed two homes in July. The sinkhole at Lake Padgett Estates in Tampa first opened up on July 14, but got bigger Friday night (pictured on August 4).

A seventh home has been condemned because of a Florida sinkhole that swallowed two homes in July.

The seventh house was condemned Monday morning, after two were condemned Sunday and two on Friday.

The sinkhole at Lake Padgett Estates in Tampa first opened up on July 14 and destroyed two homes when the ground caved in.

The sinkhole got bigger Friday night and is now about 260 feet wide at its widest point.

Crews brought in earth to stabilize the banks. Once the edges are stabilized, workers hope to remove debris.

Authorities hope to create a boat ramp so they can work from a barge, which will float on water in the sinkhole.

Overnight on Friday, an 80 by 10-foot-wide section of the sinkhole's banks collapsed.

© AP
The sinkhole, pictured above on July 14, swallowed two homes and a boat. No one was injured in the collapse.

The sinkhole had previously been 235 feet wide and 50 feet deep.

Cleanup was expected to begin on Friday but had to be postponed after the banks collapsed.

County spokesman Doug Tobin said officials were reluctant to say the sinkhole was growing wider without a geological survey.

He said the banks aren't considered a part of the sinkhole.

The sinkhole swallowed two homes and a boat back on July 14. No one was injured in the collapse.

Besides the two swallowed homes, residents in three other nearby homes were displaced because of the risk.

The edges of the sinkhole started caving in because there was no support for the sandy soil as it started to dry out, officials said last month.

As the water in the sinkhole recedes, the sand on the right-angled banks can't support the weight of the ground and it's giving away.

Engineers believe the solution lies in quickly getting dirt into the area to create a sloping bank that can keep the edges of the sinkhole from falling in.

Pasco County's risk manager told officials that the response to the sinkhole could cost at least $1.5million but it will be likely much more.

© AP
Pasco County officials say they were working to stabilize the edges so could start to remove debris from the sinkhole.

Source: AP

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