WUFT News

Alachua County high risk for sinkholes like in Seffner

By on March 1st, 2013

From staff and wire reports

A sinkhole 20 feet across and 20 feet deep opened up under a man’s bedroom and swallowed him up without a trace, taking his bed, TV set and dresser, too, as he screamed for help.

Jeff Bush, 37, was presumed dead after the concrete floor caved in about 11 p.m. Thursday as everyone in the house was turning in for the night.

One expert said Marion and Alachua County are considered to be in areas of high risk for sinkholes.

Anthony Randazzo, a professor emeritus of geology, said Gainesville residents shouldn’t be suprised by the sinkhole that opened up in Seffner. Although cases involving death are rare, the event itself is not.

There are different areas in central and north Florida where sinkhole formation is more likely to occur, Randazzo said. The areas, including Marion and Alachua County, contain older limestone that has been dissolving for millions of years.

“The closer the limestone is to the surface, if it’s in a state of dissolving, creates cavities and the more likely it is to create sinkholes,” he said.

A sinkhole is a natural hole in the Earth’s surface caused when groundwater flows through easily dissolved rocks underneath the ground such as limestone and eats them away. The most dangerous sinkholes are those that collapse suddenly and can swallow car and houses and drain entire lakes without warning.

Randazzo said while most residents are aware of the possibility of sinkholes, insurance for such events should be a high priority.

“If you live in Alachua County, I would highly recommend that you have sinkhole coverage,” he said.

The sinkhole in Seffner could have been predicted and injury could have been prevented with the appropriate testing, he said.

Audreyanna Loguerre wrote this story online. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


This entry was posted in Environment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Environment

Attendance at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park increased by more than 100,000 visitors in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

State Park Commercialization Plan Contributor Appointed DEP Secretary

State parks were identified by former interim secretary of the DEP Jon Steverson in a draft strategic plan as test cases for allowing commercial businesses to graze cattle, timber and hunt in the parks. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Steverson as DEP secretary today.


Billy McDaniel (left), Tommy Hines (right) catch a gag grouper at Cedar Key, trolling in 50 feet of water.

FWC Surveys Local Fishermen About Gulf Species

The FWC is conducting surveys to discover trends in species of fish being caught in the Gulf of Mexico. Local fishermen agree that monitoring the fish is important, but some question the method of data collection.


Gina Hall, the current president of the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors, said that residential sales in the Stephen Foster neighborhood have been improving. Local realtor Darlene Pifalo said the home pictured above sold in an average amount time on the market after the price was lowered slightly.

Stephen Foster Residents Hope For Neighborhood Revival

The Cabot-Koppers wood treatment plant became an EPA Superfund site in 1983 after dioxins contaminated the soil and underground aquifer. Now that cleanup of residential property was completed in November, the residents look toward the future.


Frosted elfin butterfly

Butterfly Study Calls Attention To Prescribed Burning Practices

A recent study by a University of Florida graduate researches the effects of prescribed fires on the elfin frosted butterfly. The species requires fire to survive, but is also prone to damage from excessive burning.


Containerized longleaf pine seedlings are removed from a growing tray. They are then counted and placed in a wax coated cardboard shipping box.

Longleaf Pine Restoration Helps Environment And Economy

Longleaf pine is being reintroduced into the United States ecosystem. If the restoration plan is successful, this type of pine would benefit the environment and the economy.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments