Florida sinkhole cleanup delayed after expansion

Posted at 4:58 AM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 17:15:51-04

Clean up on a large sinkhole that formed and swallowed two homes in a neighborhood in Land O' Lakes back in July has been delayed due to expansion of the sinkhole.

Friday morning multiple pieces of land caved in. Overnight, Pasco County EMA said a 10 foot wide by 80 foot long section on the west end of the sinkhole collapsed.

This wasn't surprising, because the contractor did expect some of the edges of the sinkhole to collapse. Early Friday morning, crews re-assessed and continued demolishing a house near the edge of the sinkhole. 

There were however, new cave-ins under the home crews were demolishing, which caused them to stop everything and move back equipment. Pasco County EMA officials did speak with homeowners and notify them of the overnight and early morning movement. They say at this point, they do not anticipate any more evacuations. 

As far as anyone know, the recent rainfall does not appear to be the cause of the collapse, a county spokesperson told ABC Action News.

The sinkhole was first reported as a depression the size of a small pool early Friday morning on July 14. Within the span of the day, the sinkhole expanded to 225 feet in diameter and 50 feet deep. The sinkhole completely destroyed two homes that day and caused 11 homes in the area to be evacuated. 

RELATED | Sinkhole swallows two homes in Land O' Lakes neighborhood; cleanup could take months

Original schedule of sinkhole cleanup:

Wednesday, 8/2

  • Contractor Ceres Environmental Services brought heavy equipment to the site
  • Emergency Management moved the perimeter fence back another 100 feet from the sinkhole to make room for the cleanup equipment
  • Power was disconnected at two vacant homes as a safety precaution, so heavy equipment can safely pass under overhead electrical lines

Thursday, 8/3

  • Contractor crews are using small barges to remove floating debris from the sinkhole
  • Work is underway at roadway access points to the sinkhole to build stable platforms for heavy equipment to continue debris collection
  • Demolition work could begin on the remainder of the structure at 21825 Ocean Pines Drive

Friday, 8/4

  • Cleanup efforts are expected to be in full swing
  • Pumping could begin to remove water from sinkhole
  • PIO will provide media availability from 11 a.m. to noon

Saturday & Sunday, 8/5, 8/6

  • Ceres will continue work through the weekend
  • No media availability on site

RELATED | How to identify if your home is at risk for a sinkhole