If you are new to the Florida area or have yet to hear about a sinkhole damage near your neighborhood, it is important to be aware of sinkhole activity and the serious property damage and bodily injury that can result from these phenomena. According to a recent report from CBS 10 News, a 90-foot-deep sinkhole opened up in Lutz, Florida earlier this month, and it forced the closure of the park in which it appeared. A fact sheet from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) emphasizes that sinkholes are relatively common in Florida, particularly along the southern Gulf Coast. To be sure, the Tampa Bay area frequently has reports of sinkholes impacting residential and business structures. What do you need to know about the recent sinkhole? And how can you protect yourself from sinkhole damage?
Sinkholes Common in Hillsborough County
As the CBS News report explains, the sinkhole in Lutz opened up in Hillsborough County's Lake Park in the middle of the week. The crater was measured, and experts from a geotechnical engineering estimated it to be around six feet in width and about 90 feet deep. It appeared along one of the roads in the local park.
Despite the large size of the sinkhole, officials in Hillsborough County were not surprised by its appearance. To be sure, the report explained that "Hillsborough County, where both Lutz and Tampa are located, is the third most sinkhole-prone county in Florida." Out of the top five sinkhole-prone counties in our state, four are located in the Tampa Bay area. The fifth is Marion County, in which Ocala is located.
How will experts deal with the recent sinkhole in Lutz? As with other sinkholes in Florida, they will close off the area until they have been able to successfully fill the sinkhole and stabilize the area around it.
Learning More About Florida Sinkholes
The USGS identifies the following states as those with the most sinkhole activity:
- Tennessee; and
How can you recognize signs of a potential sinkhole? According to a list compiled by Sinkhole.org, Floridians should watch out for some of the following:
- Cracks in the joints, windows, and/or doors of your home;
- Cracks in the stucco of your home's exterior;
- Difficulty closing windows and/or doors;
- Depressions that appear in your yard or elsewhere in the neighborhood;
- Cracks in concrete sidewalks or driveways;
- Circular areas around wilting plants; and
- Signs of sediment in your water supply.
If you have suffered damages as a result of sinkhole activity, you should learn more about seeking compensation and filing an insurance claim. An experienced West Florida sinkhole damage lawyer can help. Contact the Wells Law Group, P.A. today to learn more.