LAND O’LAKES, Fla. – Cleanup efforts at the site of a sinkhole that swallowed two Florida homes and jeopardized a third house will begin in earnest on Wednesday, as county officials, geologists and insurance adjusters begin the process of figuring out what to do with the properties, local officials said Monday.
Heavy equipment will be brought in Wednesday to the neighborhood in Pasco County, north of Tampa, to clean up debris left over from the damage caused by the sinkhole. It opened up Friday morning and grew to 225 feet (68 meters) in diameter and 50 feet (15 meters) deep, taking with it the two homes and a boat. No one was injured.
In all, 11 homes were affected. Residents of four homes that were initially evacuated were allowed to return over the weekend, and five homes remained evacuated Monday morning.
Kevin Guthrie, Pasco County’s assistant administrator for public safety, said engineers were still trying to determine “where the safe edge is at.”
“We are doing everything in our power to get those folks back in these homes as fast as we can,” Guthrie said at a news conference Monday morning.
All of the homeowners had some kind of insurance. Occupants of two of the destroyed homes were renters and they didn’t have renters’ insurance “so the contents of the renters are not covered at all,” Guthrie said.