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University of South Florida team maps Pasco County depressions

Posted at 3:33 PM, Aug 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 17:16:55-04

HUDSON, Fla. — After more than a dozen holes opened up in the ground of a Pasco County community, officials with the University of South Florida are learning more about them.

RELATED: More than a dozen depressions open up in Pasco community, sparking concerns for residents

Professor Lori Collins is walking the perimeter of a retention pond in the neighborhood with a GPS used to create 3D models.

She says people living around the depressions that opened up this week are glad to see her.

“We already had a neighbor come out, you can use our bathroom if you need to. They know we are here to learn more,” said Collins.

The USF crew is also using a drone to take pictures from above.

They’ll put all the information together to learn more about what happened here.

“There’s no way to really predict these everybody says, but there might be. There might be some interesting things that we can do with mapping to at least show areas of susceptibility and probability with greater finer detail,” said Collins.

Richard Leenhouts’ home is not directly effected and he says he’s not losing sleep over all the activity.

“Not much you can do about it. You just have to accept it and go with it. I’m not too worried where we are at. But, the neighbor across the street, it’s right toward his backyard.”

Experts say the Lakeside Woodlands neighborhood was built on top of an underground cave system.

They’ve had holes open up here in past.

USF’s team says they may be here for research, but they hope what they are doing benefits the community too.

“I feel very strongly about that that this is in our backyard and we need to help where we can,” said Collins.

The HOA president tells me they have a fund to pay for filling the holes on community property.

However, homeowners will have to cover repair costs of any depressions or sinkholes on their own property.