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

Oak Hall High School volunteers remove the wooden fence that Bevelle Creek’s previous owners built to stabilize the shoreline. The fence was removed to allow access to the creek during the restoration project.

Beville Creek Restoration Project Underway

The city of Gainesville closed Cofrin Nature Park in order to complete a restoration project on Beville Creek. The goal of the project is to repair the eroding shoreline and provide new areas to the creek where wildlife can gather. The park is slated to reopen sometime in the fall.


Suwannee

Suwannee Lake Renovations Still Progressing

Almost two years after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission closed Suwannee Lake to the public for renovations, some of the changes are now visible. For almost 50 years, the lake has provided a natural habitat for wildlife in […]


Barr Hammock Preserve is the most recent area where bear-human conflict has occurred in Alachua County. No one was injured in the June incident.

Experts Caution Against Bear Hunting in Alachua County

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission met yesterday to review a proposal which would allow bear hunting on specific areas throughout Florida. Wildlife groups question if hunting is the solution to an increasing number of bear encounters.


Swamp Head Brewery, with the help of the University of Florida's Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences department, released 300 bluegills into what will soon become a self-sustaining wetlands. Photo courtesy of Brandon Nappy.

Swamp Head Brewery Introduces Species to New Conservation

When Swamp Head Brewery moved into their new location, off Southwest 34th Street in Gainesville, in January, they saved one acre of their land for conservation. The brewery is working toward creating an environment that is reflective of their tasting room, “The Wetlands.”


Alachua County Fire Rescue Station #25 is one of the government

buildings that is getting a solar roof installed. After assessing the buildings, 24 were approved. Rebecca Rubin / WUFT News

Fire Station Is First Building In Hawthorne To Get Solar Overhaul

Alachua County Fire Rescue Station 25 will be the first county building in Hawthorne to be outfitted with solar panels. The station is one of 24 buildings determined viable for the county’s solar panel initiative, which seeks to cut energy consumption.


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