More Rain May Mean More Sinkholes

Aug 22, 2012

The following article was posted to the website on August 22, 2012:

More Rain May Mean More Sinkholes

The steady rains that have fallen over North Central Florida for nearly two months now have created more than one type of natural disaster.
 A growing number of people are feeling like they’ve had the carpet pulled out from under them.

There are now five open sinkholes just in the Haile community.
Experts told us with all this rain there is a large possibility more sinkholes will open up. 

“It’s pretty common in Haile Plantation,” said Megan Mummaw.

To see sinkholes randomly open up around the community.
Mummaw is a community association manager in Haile Plantation.

“In this area we do have some recent ones where we have marked off. I have some in smaller associations where they are luckily not in front of anybody’s homes,” said Mummaw.

Then there are others that are in front of some condos and in the middle of a parking lot.
On Tuesday this sinkhole swallowed this Jeep Wrangler while 59-year-old Bill Clark  was trying to park.

“All of a sudden the front wheel seemed like it when down in a hole and indeed it did,” said Clark.

Some residents at the links in Haile Plantation said there was a sink hole in this very same spot about five years ago.
They told us it was filled with sand and asphalt. People calling it patch work.

Chris Bird from Alachua County Environmental Protection said it’s possible for a sinkhole to open up after it’s covered.

“Even if you use the right materials to fill the void, you can still have it collapse underneath that. That just makes everything fall,” said Bird.

He told us he is not surprised about the recent sinkhole in Haile Plantation because the most common area where you would see one is west of I-75 and you may see more popping up.

“When we have an extended drought like we have and then that’s followed by some pretty heavy rain fall like we’ve had their is more frequency of sinkhole formations,” said Bird.

In unpredictable and some predictable places.

The links community association manager Cliff Burnham tells us they have contacted their insurance company to make a claim.

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