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.
What exactly causes sinkholes to form? It’s a question that has been on the minds of many in the Tampa Bay area, especially after news that a sinkhole that swallowed a man in his Seffner home in 2013 recently reopened.
According to experts, thousands of sinkholes form in Florida each year due to highly porous limestone the state sits upon as well as extreme weather and aquifer pumping. They tend to form in areas where underground water flows and dissolves the rock over time, and can vary in size between 1 and 600 meters. Many natural sinkholes cannot be avoided, while those caused from human activity like cutting of trees with the help of tree removal sarasota fl etc,may be a different story.
Human activities that may trigger sinkholes include the following:
- Removal of too much groundwater in an area
- Creation of artificial ponds
- Drilling of water wells
- Concentrating surface water from a large area to a much smaller one
What are the warning signs you should look out for to determine whether a sinkhole is forming on your Tampa property?
- Fences, trees or other objects that appear to sag or slant. Outback Fencing can prevent your garden. Or, to know what other options that are available, make a call to the Landscaping specialists in Marietta, GA, who will come in person to see and will suggest accordingly. To remove trees you can check the article here.
- Doors and windows fail to close properly
- Wilted vegetation that appears in small, circular areas due to water draining into the sinkhole
- Small ponds of rainwater forming in areas where it did not collect before
- Structural cracks in walls, floors or pavement
Sinkholes can be dangerous and can lead to the destruction of your home and/or property. If you are concerned that a sinkhole is forming on or near your property, the attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi and Guito, P.A. can help. If you would like to discuss the options available to you to keep you and your family safe from Florida sinkholes, contact TJ Grimaldi today.