Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando sinkholes may be filled in next week

SPRING HILL — Efforts to fill in four gaping sinkholes that opened Wednesday afternoon in a Spring Hill retention area have been put on hold until next week when the openings are expected to stabilize, a Hernando County Public Works official said Thursday.

"There's not much we can do until they've stopped settling," Public Works Assistant Director Steve Whitaker said of the sinkholes that developed just west of Mariner Boulevard and north of Elgin Boulevard.

"As far as we're concerned there's no danger,'' he said. "They're in the middle of a retention pond far away from any houses."

Witnesses said that the sinkholes began forming around 3 p.m. Wednesday in a football field-sized retention area on Curry Drive.

Carol Spadafino, who lives about two blocks away from the site, said that her neighbor heard a rattling sound as the ground began to cave in. When she got to the site, one depression had already grown an estimated 40 feet across and 15 feet deep, and had swallowed up parts of a grassy area in the retention area. A few minutes later three smaller sinkholes began to form.

"It's pretty scary because you just don't know how big they're going to get," said Spadafino.

Whitaker said that the sinkholes probably formed as a result of recent heavy rainfall. He added that such holes have been known to occur in retention areas because they are dug several feet below ground level and are closer to the water table.

"When the limerock underneath is weakened it starts to cave in," Whitaker said. "Spring Hill has a number of places where that's bound to happen at any time."

If the sinkholes have sufficiently settled by Monday, crews will begin filling them with a suitable clay material. Meanwhile, the area around the sinkholes remains cordoned off for safety.

Whitaker said that the sinkholes are the first ones reported in Spring Hill in some time and were far less damaging than the ones that appeared near Toledo Road in March, 2006.

Although no homes were damaged by those sinkholes, several home owners reported damaged septic systems and driveways. A cement truck driver narrowly escaped injury when his truck broke through a weak spot in the asphalt.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or 848-1435.

Hernando sinkholes may be filled in next week 07/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tiger Bay panel: End permanent revocation of voting rights for convicted felons

    Local

    TAMPA – A panel of elected officials and advocates including Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren argued in a forum Friday that Florida should end its practice of permanently revoking the voting rights of people convicted of felonies.

    Rep. Sean Shaw, D- Tampa, on the floor of the Florida House.[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  2. Temple Terrace Citizen of Year skips his awards banquet in protest of Confederate event

    Politics

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Travis Malloy was supposed to show up to the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club on Thursday to pick up his Citizen of the Year award at the Chamber of Commerce banquet.

    Instead, Malloy stayed away in protest.

    David McCallister, commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Judah P. Benjamin Camp, said it's ridiculous to worry that the group's banquet at the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Clubwill draw white supremacists. 

[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Editorial: Making tax increases harder would sentence Florida to mediocrity

    Editorials

    Florida has one of the lowest state tax burdens in the nation, a long list of unmet needs and a Republican-controlled state government that treats any talk of a tax increase as heresy. Yet Gov. Rick Scott wants voters to approve a constitutional amendment to make it even harder for the Legislature to raise taxes. That's …

    Gov. Rick Scott wants voters to approve a constitutional amendment to make it even harder for the Legislature to raise taxes. That’s election-year pandering, not leadership.
  4. What happens if you look at the eclipse without glasses? Want a hole in your vision?

    Science

    It's the burning question of the week.

    The solar eclipse Monday will be quite the Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson moment for Americans to share. The idea is to walk away without frying your eyeballs.

    Colton Hammer tries out his new eclipse glasses he just bought from the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City on Wednesday in preparation for the eclipse on Monday. [Scott G Winterton | Deseret News via AP]
  5. Waterspout forms between Caladesi and Dunedin

    Environment

    A waterspout formed between Caladesi Island and Dunedin earlier today.

    A waterspout formed between Caladesi Island and Dunedin. [Photo via YouTube]