As then Tropical Storm Debby raged over Florida, it dropped a huge amount of rainwater in a short amount of time, dramatically speeding underground erosion. County Engineer, Tracy Straub, explained the developing sinkhole process by analogy:
“You know how beach sand crumbles when it’s dry, and compacts when it’s wet? That sort of activity is happening below the surface, and that’s when you have those collapses.”
The ground cover collapses in Marion County have been dramatic, as reported by TV20 Reporter, Natalia Martinez, on June 27, 2012. “Limestone underground Florida, and especially Marion County, is a hotbed for sinkholes,” and we’re seeing the results here.
47 sinkholes of varying sizes and danger levels opened in just a couple of days. For example, two trucks were almost swallowed at an Ocala industrial park, and a huge 30+ foot deep sinkhole opened at the Baseline Landfill.
And the danger is not over. County engineers expect more sinkholes to open up in the next few days as the wet ground begins to settle.
The Fore Ranch Subdivision called on the “Sinkhole Pros” at Foundation Services of Central Florida, Inc. for emergency help when a giant sinkhole forced 8 families to flee and condemned a building.
Sinkhole repair crews were working overtime. Foundation Services’ General Manager and Partner, Robert Stephenson, told TV20:
“I usually have eight or nine crews, and I’ve got all of them stretched out.”
Sinkhole remediation cannot be delayed. As Stephenson is quick to emphasize:
“Several opened up this week have not affected the house at all, but if something isn’t done, it will.”
With the cost for an average sinkhole repair job ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 according to Stephenson, repairs can be costly. Unfortunately, may insurance companies do not carry sinkhole insurance, and others have dropped actual “sinkhole insurance” to let themselves escape responsibility except in cases of catastrophic groundcover collapse. [Click here to understand more about sinkhole insurance coverage.] Stephenson urges Florida homeowners to get adequate insurance coverage!