Land O’Lakes sinkhole deepens slightly, now stable
LAND O’LAKES — A massive sinkhole that on Friday destroyed one home and nearly swallowed another had stopped expanding by Saturday morning.
The sinkhole sank 4 to 6 inches overnight, officials said. It had been as deep as 50 feet Friday night.
“We have seen no significant movement in the last 14 hours,” said Kevin Guthrie, assistant county administrator for public safety.
Even if the sinkhole remains stable, Guthrie said four unharmed houses surrounding the sinkhole will remain evacuated for about a week as the county begins cleanup.
The county will continue to monitor the sinkhole every two to three hours by observing the changing cracks around the 225-foot-wide pit. No major changes or updates are expected throughout the day.
The sinkhole did not cause any injuries, Guthrie said. But the water inside the sinkhole contains chemicals from septic tanks that got swallowed when the affected homes collapsed. A hazmat team will assist with the chemical cleanup.
Affected residents can contact the Red Cross, Salvation Army or United Way, the latter of which is available by dialing 211. They may also begin calling Pasco County customer service at 8 a.m. on Monday, by dialing 727-847-2411.
Cleanup will take weeks, Guthrie estimated, while the process of repairing Ocean Pines Road and the damaged housing lots could stretch into months of work.
Those who evacuated homes outside the fenced-off perimeter will likely be able to move back within a few days.
“It’s going to be my goal to get folks into their homes as soon as we possibly can,” Guthrie said.
The two destroyed homes are located at 21825 and 21835 Ocean Pines Dr., which sit next to Lake Saxon. A third home lost about 45 feet of driveway and a septic tank. All three homeowners had insurance, Guthrie said.
Jared Hill, emergency operations director for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, called the sinkhole a “very catastrophic event.” He said the Sheriff’s Office will maintain a perimeter around the area until the assistant county administrator tells them to take it down.