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Florida Personal Injury

Sinkhole Swallows Car Outside Tampa

Earlier this month, a ten-foot-by-ten-foot sinkhole opened up in front of a home in Holiday, Florida and swallowed an entire car. The owner of the home, 63-year-old Anna Maria Boi Jones, was devastated to learn that her entire home, near the corner of Torch and Button Streets, has to be condemned as a result of the sinkhole.

At around 10:45 a.m. on November 10th, Ms. Jones noticed that the tires on her car seemed to be sinking into the driveway. In only 15 minutes, her entire Hyundai Accent car would be holed down inside the ten-by-ten-foot sinkhole. Ms. Jones grabbed as many of her possessions as she could before running out of her home.

She blames the sinkhole on the makeup of the land. “I don’t think it’s anything else because of the fact that we are in Florida and it’s mostly sand – you know – the land is sand.” Florida Emergency Management is recommending that five other homes in the vicinity also be evacuated until further soil testing can be completed. Geologists at the scene have stated that the sinkhole is not getting any wider, but it is getting deeper as it settles.

Since then, a second sinkhole has opened up 25 feet away from the first one in Pasco Mobile Home Park. It, too, grew to about ten-by-ten feet, and happened only a day after the first sinkhole destroyed Mr. Jones’ car. Safety officials believe that a third sinkhole could open up soon, and six families from seven other homes have been evacuated from the area.

What is a Sinkhole?

Sinkholes are common where the rock below the land surface is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can naturally be dissolved by groundwater circulating through them. As the rock dissolves, spaces and caverns develop underground. Sinkholes can be dramatic because the land above usually stays intact for a while until the underground spaces get too big. The lack of support for the land above causes the sudden collapse of a sinkhole.

Sinkholes in Florida are formed through the slow erosion of limestone that exists under much of the state. They are one variety of karst landform, a class of geological features that also includes caves, springs, and disappearing streams.

According to the Florida Department of Environment Protection, “limestone in Florida is porous, allowing acidic water to percolate through their strata, dissolving some limestone and carrying it away in solution. Over eons of time, this persistent erosional process has created extensive underground voids and drainage systems in much of the carbonate rocks throughout the state. Collapse of overlying sediments into the underground cavities produces sinkholes.”

Call a Florida Insurance Claims Lawyer Today

If you or someone that you know has been injured, lost their possessions, or their home because of a sinkhole near Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, or West Palm Beach you may have a claim for damages. Let the experienced lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm fight for your right to compensation. Call or contact the office today for a confidential consultation of your case.

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