The Tampa Bay Times recently published an article regarding the most recent string of sinkhole activity we have experienced in the Bay area. They gave examples of a man in Plant City that was told to evacuate his home after a sinkhole was discovered under his porch and of a Bob Evans restaurant in Seffner that had to close after cracks were found in the structure of the building. Also, a family in West Tampa had to be evacuated from their home, while a 30 foot sinkhole opened under 138th Avenue and Bruce B. Downs. According to geologists, we are entering sinkhole season when all the heavy and consistent rains of another Florida summer can trigger sinkhole activity as groundwater can dissolve limestone which supports the ground above it.
In reviewing the recently reported sinkholes in Seffner, expert geologist Sandy Nettles mapped the sinkholes in Seffner and discovered, "they're all in a straight line. Sometimes, something in one of those fracture system breaks loose, and it creates a whole series of movements… it just reverberates down the line and gets everything else loose." This may be evidence of a fracture line in Seffner, which is high risk for sinkholes. This could mean more sinkholes will pop up in around Seffner, but another expert geologist commented that a few collapsed sinkholes in an area are not always indicative of a fracture line, although fracture lines do occur. Sinkholes remain more commonplace than we would like in Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Polk, and Pinellas counties, but it is a phenomenon that we must be aware of. If you think you may have sinkhole activity at your home, or have already reported a possible sinkhole to your insurance company, call Givens Givens Sparks for a free case review and breakdown of your options and rights as an insured homeowner.