7 homes condemned near massive Florida sinkhole

Crew working on filling the sinkhole in Florida. (WFLA)
Crew working on filling the sinkhole in Florida. (WFLA)

LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) — Officials in Florida have condemned one more home Monday morning after a sinkhole opened up and swallowed several homes last month.

Two more homes were already condemned Sunday near the massive sinkhole in Land O’ Lakes. The Pasco County Building Inspectors Office investigated five homes over the weekend and condemned three of them. That makes seven in total condemned.

Two of the most recently condemned homes – 21814 and 21815 Ocean Pines Drive – had visible cracks and buckling. At 21814, there was bucking in tile and cracks in granite counter-tops. The eve was also shifting.

At 21815, there was cracking in the mortar joints on the southeast edge and a significant separation of the front of the home. The small eve over the doorway had separated an inch from the house.

The sinkhole opened last month and swallowed two homes.

In addition to the two homes destroyed in July, two houses on Ocean Pines Drive were condemned on Saturday. On Sunday, county officials said another home on Ocean Pines Drive was set to be condemned, as well as a home on Canal Place.

Kevin Guthrie, assistant county administrator, said Monday that he can’t confirm if the sinkhole is still active. “The entire area is riddled with sinkholes. We may be seeing a cause-and-effect-type stuff.”

Guthrie explained that it is not active compared to what he is seeing. It’s more like ripple effects, “may see some older sinkholes making minor adjustments.”

County officials said 125 dump trucks of uncrushed lime rock were brought in over the weekend to dump into the hole. Five semi loads of debris were removed on Saturday.

There is a barge in middle of the sinkhole collecting debris and using a long-reach excavator to stabilize the sides of hole. A truck will start cleaning out water Monday.

They are calling their new tactic successful and said debris removal is continuing this week. They hope to have the hole filled in a couple of weeks.

The first phase of the cleanup is expected to be done by Aug. 18. So far, Guthrie said that the project is under budget and looks like it will come in closer to $1 million rather that $1.3 million.

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