Cold snap causes sinkholes

During the recent cold snap, Plant City and its surrounding area were hit with a rash of cover-collapse sinkholes. These were discovered not simply in the residential areas but also in the interstate infrastructure along the highways.

In some Hillsborough County areas, thousands of cubic yards of grout were installed beneath highways and other buildings to stabilize them.

How these sinkholes affect infrastructure

As reported in the Tampa Tribune, last year Hillsborough County was responsible for fixing a total of eight sinkholes for the year, while this year they have already remediated 12. This requires costly sinkhole repair methods and disrupts the county’s already overburdened highways.

As these events rarely happen in isolation, it would be reasonable to expect an increase in the number of confirmed sinkholes in the area. Therefore, nearby residents should keep their eye out for any changes in their home that mimic the symptoms of a sinkhole.

Signs to look for in your home

Be wary for signs that the ground underneath your home is shifting, causing a lack of balance in your foundation. This may appear as cracks in the wall shaped like a stairway, door frames that no longer hang straight, or any other peculiar cracks in the home.

Other signs can be observed outside, like new depressions in the ground, rainwater that remains above the ground, puddles, and even cracks in the ground around your home.

Finally, speak with your neighbors. Sinkholes often aren’t a one-time occurrence; when a sinkhole appears in a nearby home, it raises the chances of your home being affected. Therefore, keep an eye out for not only your home but the homes in your surrounding neighborhood, as well.

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