Sinkhole opens in Haile Plantation

by Michael Mosher on August 22, 2012

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A small sinkhole opened up in Haile Plantation Tuesday evening, leaving a Jeep Wrangler teetering partially inside of it.

The sinkhole was at 1000 SW 52nd Ave. in an area of Haile known as the Links. It opened up shortly before 7 p.m. and is the third sinkhole to cave in at that particular spot, neighbors said.

Bill Clark was parking his 2002 Wrangler after a trip to the grocery store when he felt the earth give way.

“There was this sinking feeling. The front wheel went down into a hole so I put it into four-wheel drive and tried to reverse out of there, but it wasn’t in the cards,” Clark said. “I opened the door and leaped to the pavement. I was scared. I didn’t know what was happening at first. When I got out I thought, ‘Oh my goodness’.”

Much of the front passenger side of the Jeep ended up in the hole, with the back of the Jeep sticking up in the air. A tow truck with a crane was called to fetch it out of the hole.

One side of the sinkhole followed the asphalt edge of a patched area. Neighbor Diane McAlhany said sinkholes have opened at the spot three times over the past six years.

McAlhany said they were filled each time. The first was the largest.

“It occurs when we have a lot of rain, which washes it out,” she said. “I actually got sinkhole coverage on my property this year.”

Western Alachua County is prone to sinkholes because of its limestone karst geology.

They often form during droughts because the groundwater table is low. When a heavy rain occurs, the weight of the surface water can cause the earth to cave into the void.

Full article…here

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