In the recent days, everyone has read or seen the recent sinkhole incident that took a manâ€™s life in the city of Seffner, FL.Â In light of these news stories, I have decided to write a blog regarding important information about sinkholes.
Floridaâ€™s natural make-up makes sinkholes a relatively common occurrence in the state.Â Florida is only a few feet above the water table, making it theoretically possible for someone to swim from South Florida to Orlando thanks to underground caverns of water beneath the surface.Â Over a long period of time, the limestone in the grounds surface can erode and create a sinkhole
Sinkholes are commonly found around many parts of the world due to groundwater which dissolves carbonate rocks (limestone) into a solution which makes the mud soft and results in voids.Â Sinkholes vary in sizes and depth, and can form slowly or suddenly in the earthâ€™s surface.
Sinkholes are often formed during the normal rains.Â Weather conditions like rains or thunderstorms are often the reason why a sinkhole may form.Â Hurricanes can also be a trigger for sinkhole formation
One interesting fact about sinkholes is that they can be stopped at a very early stage.Â In fact, if caught early enough, a city should fill the hole and rebuild the foundation over the degrading bedrock.Â Loose and soft mud signs are evident very early on.Â The process of filling a sinkhole is much like the way a dentist fills a cavity.Â Once filled, the sinkhole will become hard and the structure upon it will be stable.
A Cenote is a deep natural sinkhole made from the collapse of limestone bedrock that reveals the groundwater.Â In many parts of the world, the groundwater that dissolves the limestone bedrock flows in deep rivers underneath the bedrock.
(Note, we are not sinkhole professionals, if you are questioning whether or not you have a sinkhole, please call a specialist)
Most sinkholes are isolated events.Â The bedrock underlying Florida has several cavities of varying size, almost all of which will not collapse in our lifetimes.Â Unless a sinkhole is extremely large and extends to your property, there is little reason for concern.Â Check for settling or soft areas, and if you find any, contact a sinkhole specialist for an inspection.
Should a sinkhole open near your house, immediately evacuate the area and contact local law enforcement to report the hazard.
Author: Paul Faucher
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