Sinkhole Danger Not Over
Published June 27th, 2012
In the past couple of days, 47 sinkholes have been reported to Marion County Emergency Operation officials.
And more may soon open up, county engineers warn, after the wet ground begins to settle.
Local repair companies are working overtime to help homes from going under.
"I usually have eight or nine crews, and I've got all of them stretched out," Robert Stephenson, General Manager and Partner for Foundation Services told TV20.
The Marion County sinkholes all vary in size and level of danger.
A sinkhole at an industrial park in Ocala almost swallowed two trucks.
A giant sinkhole at the Fore Ranch Subdivision has condemned a building, forcing eight families to flee.
And a huge sinkhole opened at the Baseline Landfill. It is at least 30 feet deep.
Tropical Storm Debby dropped a large amount of rain in a short amount of time, exacerbating an underground erosion process.
"You know how beach sand crumbles when it's dry, and compacts when it's wet?," County Engineer Tracy Straub said. "That sort of activity is happening below the surface and that's when you have those collapses," she said.
And with most home owners not carrying sinkhole insurance, it could be not only a dangerous but expensive situation.
Stephenson said an average sinkhole repair job ranges from $50 to $70 thousand dollars.
He also said that many insurance companies do not carry sinkhole insurance and urges property owners to be diligent about getting coverage.
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