Authorities had to close an exit ramp of Interstate 4 yesterday afternoon due to a 15-foot wide sinkhole that opened up during rush hour. The exit was in Orange County approximately 9 miles from Orlando. To see an image of the damage, click here. Orange County Fire Rescue received several calls Monday afternoon, saying the hole was “rapidly expanding.” Officials have not yet determined what suddenly caused this sinkhole to open.
Where do sinkholes form and are certain areas more susceptible than others?
In general, areas where limestone is close to the surface, or areas with deeper limestone but with a certain level of water elevation, or with certain rock layer characteristics have increased sinkhole activity. Sinkholes are very common in Florida, due to the fact that the state sits on a bed of limestone. Sinkholes form in areas where water flows underground and has dissolved rock (limestone) which creates a large void where surface sediment collects and eventually collapses, according to the Florida Sinkhole Research Institute. This can occur in an open piece of land, someone’s property beneath their home, or a road, such as what occurred yesterday.
Central Florida is particularly known for sinkholes and is part of Florida’s “Sinkhole Alley,” where the majority of insurance claims for sinkhole damage occur. Other places that frequently see sinkholes include Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
For more information on common causes of sinkholes and signs you should look out for, visit our Tampa Sinkhole Lawyers page. If you have concerns related to sinkhole formation on your property, contact TJ Grimaldi.