They also warn that no matter where you are or where you go in Florida, you cannot avoid the risk of a sinkhole.
State leaders announced Friday that the Florida Geological Survey has received a $1.1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to address sinkhole vulnerability. (Find more information here.)
Here is a quick summary – in an easy-to-follow FAQ – on Florida sinkholes and what to do if you encounter one:
Is there a sinhole-free area in Florida? Technically, no. Since the entire state rests on limestone, or carbonate rocks, sinkholes could form anywhere. However, there are definite regions where sinkhole risk is considerably higher.
So, are sinkholes just part of the Florida environment? Thousands of naturally occurring sinkholes can be seen throughout the state of Florida, including many that connect underground to springs, rivers and lakes.
I spotted a depression on my property. Do I have a sinkhole? Maybe. But a number of factors can cause holes. Expansive clay layers in the earth may shrink upon drying, buried organic material, poorly-compacted soil after excavation work, buried trash or logs and broken pipes all may cause depressions to form. If the settling is affecting a dwelling, further testing by a licensed engineer with a licensed geologist on staff or a licensed geology firm may be in order.
What should I do if I encounter a sinkhole?
- The hole should be immediately cordoned off.
- Clearly mark the sinkhole to protect traffic.
- Contact local law enforcement to report the hazard.
- Call your city or county road department to initiate repair work.
- If the road is private, repair of the hole is usually the responsibility of the landowner or property owners’ association.