Saturday, October 31, 2015

New Seffner Sinkhole

The demolished Seffner Florida home where a sinkhole killed a sleeping
resident in 2013. Photo by Bob Brinkmann.
A new sinkhole opened in Seffner about 2 miles from the one that killed a man in 2013. This sinkhole is quite large as sinkholes go. According to reports, it is 22 feet wide and 27 feet deep. It formed on the border between two properties and thankfully didn't do any damage to homes and there were no injuries.

This sinkhole, and the one that occurred in 2013, show how unpredictable these things are.

Or are they?

We have the technology (ground penetrating radar) to map subsurface voids that lead to collapses. Of course, with Florida's Swiss cheese subsurface landscape, voids are rather common and many properties would be at risk. In some areas of the country where sinkholes are common, developers must do site assessments prior to building. This isn't done for homes in Florida. Perhaps it's time to consider this as an option for protecting the public.

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