A sinkhole has swallowed the back of a home in Hudson.
Pasco County Fire officials said the sinkhole is 40 feet wide and 20 feet deep. Officials said the ground collapsed behind the home in the 14000 block of Shoal Dr. around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The house has been ruled a total loss, leaving many residents in the area to wonder if their house could be next.
"It's like a wakeup call, I guess, to people," Albert Alanese said as he looked at the home partially taken underground by the house. "They look at it and they say, 'Geez, let me check my policy.,'"
A neighbor, Howard Taylor, said he heard a "crashing" sound as the home sank into the ground. "I looked up around, and everything just, little by little, was ripping and falling." The neighbor added that a crew checking for sinkholes happened to be at the home before the sinkhole opened.
Pasco County Emergency Management spokesperson Annette Doying said Florida homes are especially vulnerable to sinkholes because of drought-like conditions in recent years. "This is an end result of geological and weather-related phenomena that’s been ongoing for years," she said.
According to Doying, crews will return to the site tomorow to determine exactly how much of the surrounding land has been impacted, and if other structures and land around the home are safe. "Probably the extent of the sinkhole is either one big sinkhole or a handful of interconnected sinkholes probably about the size of the house.”
The woman was not home at the time of the collapse, but returned to the home to review the damage. There were no injuries reported at this time.
Doying said the sinkhole is probably not the biggest crews have seen in the area in the past. In 1998, drought conditions followed by heavy El Nino rains caused significant numbers of large sinkholes to the area.