Tropical Storm Brings More Sinkholes

Since Tropical Storm Andrea passed through Florida last week, there has been a rash of sinkhole development in the Tampa Bay area.  Most geologists will tell you that the sudden opening of sinkholes is to be expected after the heavy rains associated with a tropical storm – especially after a period of drought.  The pattern of drought followed by heavy rains is very conductive to the sudden onset of sinkhole activity and the dramatic surface features which may then appear.

Although almost everyone is aware of the tragic sinkhole which opened in Febrary and caused the death of Jeff Bush, most people are not aware of the roughy 20 sinkholes which have opened up in the area since then.  Some of these dramatic fallouts include the following:

  • Last Saturday, Tom Manus was forced to leave his home after a sinkhole was discovered underneath his porch on North Country Hill in Plant City.
  • Last Sunday, a Bob Evans restaurant in Seffner was forced to close after employees suddenly discovered huge cracks to the restaurants ceiling, walls and floors.
  • That same day, a family in Tampa was forced to evacuate their home on Jean Street after a sinkhole opened up in the front yard.
  • On Wednesday of this week, a 30-foot-deep sinkhole opened up beneath a car on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in Tampa.

Clearly, sinkholes continue to be a huge problem in the Tampa Bay area and the heavy rains associated with a tropical storm greatly exacerbate the sudden collapse of soil into these void conditions.  Although it may be almost impossible to predict where a sinkhole will open up next, it is vitally important to make sure you have appropriate sinkhole coverage on your homeowners insurance policy in order to protect your home from the damage caused by these nature disasters.