Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Public safety

As one sinkhole is repaired in Land O'Lakes subdivision, another opens

LAND O'LAKES — Kris Lock was at work Thursday when she got a frantic call from her daughter who was staying at home for the day. People were banging on the front door, so hard she thought they were trying to break in.

Lock called 911 and raced home from her technology job at Academy at the Lakes school. When she got there, she realized the danger was under the house.

The men banging on the door were part of a Ram Jack Foundation Repair crew that had been filling a sinkhole between Lock's house and the house next door at 9631 Nathaniel Lane for the past week and a half.

At 10:40 a.m. Thursday, said crew foreman Elijah Horner, they were working on the sinkhole when the ground gave way behind them, opening a 6-foot deep fissure that extended 4 feet up under the Locks' house. Horner looked at an indicator on the side of the home that showed it sank two-tenths of an inch. He rapped on the door to get everyone out, startling Lock's daughter. They evacuated her and the family's 13-year-old German shepherd, Fax.

Soon, Pasco sheriff's deputies' cars, news trucks and concerned neighbors lined Nathaniel Lane while the repair crew continued working between the two houses on the original sinkhole, about 5 feet away from the one under the Locks' house.

Mike Demasi, who lives three houses down from the Locks, said he was at lunch with his wife in Wesley Chapel when a news app on his phone alerted them to the sinkhole. He saw it was in Asbel Creek subdivision, then right on their road.

"We're done," he remembers saying. "Check please." They did 90 miles per hour on their way back to the neighborhood.

Demasi said he's been checking his windows and doors to look for signs of his own house shifting since the first sinkhole more than a week ago. He hasn't noticed anything different and said he feels safe.

But the Locks never noticed anything different either, until Thursday's sinkhole opened up.

Lock said she's heard from the repair crew that she'll be able to go back into her home in a day or two. She said she plans to make an insurance claim on the sinkhole.

In the meantime, Lock, her husband, three children and Fax are staying at a family friend's house nearby.

Contact Alex Orlando at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

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