Florida Sinkhole Swallows Home

By ABC News

Nov 14, 2013 10:01am

A growing sinkhole in Florida has swallowed at least one home, caused another to begin collapsing and forced at least six homes to be evacuated.

The sinkhole began opening in a neighborhood just north of downtown Dunedin, Fla., near Tampa, early this morning, according to ABC News affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa.

By 7 a.m., the sinkhole was estimated at 80 feet wide and 40 feet deep, and still expanding, Dunedin Deputy Fire Chief Tripp Barrs told WFTS.

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Power and utility lines were cut off and officials evacuated at least six surrounding homes amid reports that a neighboring pool was also cracking.

Television footage also shows a boat and screened-in porch at the homeowner’s property had collapsed into the hole.

The Pinellas County homeowner Michael Dupre told TV station Bay News 9 that he heard what sounded like a “sledgehammer pounding on a wall” as the sinkhole began to open up.  He also told the station a sinkhole-prevention company had been at his home the past two days pouring grout to stabilize the home’s foundation.

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“There was a sinkhole before and we knew there was sinkhole activity,” Dupre said. “After the Seffner sinkhole, we were scared. We’ve been dealing with our insurance company and, finally, two days ago, they started working on our house. Now it looks like our home is gone.”

Jeff Bush, 37, died in March when a sinkhole opened beneath his home in Seffner, a town in nearby Hillsborough County. Bush’s body was never recovered and his home was eventually demolished.

No injuries have been reported in the Dunedin sinkhole.

Dunedin is just outside of what state officials refer to as “sinkhole alley,” the counties of Hernando, Hillsborough and Pasco.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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