Work continues on other sinkholes throughout the county, some on private property. —
Cecilia Patella, the county’s emergency management director, said as of July 19 there were 69 reports of sinkholes associated with the storm. The number is probably higher because there are likely multiple voids that opened up in one location, she said.
Because so many opened up, the county requested a state geologist come in and do an evaluation to see if any sinkhole locations were a threat to public safety. Patella said she has not yet seen that report.
Hernando County has hired a contractor to repair the sinkholes that opened on public property. Those on private property are being urged to contact their insurance providers.
The six repaired roads, with costs, include:
- Mariner Boulevard ($32,919)
- Claymore Street (estimated $62,969)
- Quality Drive ($15,994)
- Trillium Boulevard ($12,792)
- Tooke Shore Drive ($9,464)
- Spring Hill Drive at the jail entrance (estimated $30,000).
“We are still reviewing the billings from a few of the repairs but all work has been completed,” said Transportation Director Brian Malmberg.
The Trillium subdivision along County Line Road was hard hit, with reports of at least 14 sinkholes opening on homeowners’ property and in county-owned drainage retention areas.
Adam Smith, president of the Trillium of Brooksville Homeowners Association, said in a letter to homeowners that they exercise caution. While many of the depressions along some of the roads have been filled with sand, “they are still dangerous and subject to further settling, which could be either sudden or gradual,” he said.
The Trillium HOA has consulted with third party geotechnical engineers who have recommended a course of action to further stabilize the common areas along Nodding Shade Drive and Painted Leaf Circle.
One recommendation is to use grout in and around the depressions.
“We’re just asking folks to proceed with caution around those areas, especially around the pond areas where you’ll see some of the earth-moving activity going on,” said Valerie Dolenga, spokeswoman for Pulte Homes.
Some of the largest sinkholes opened on a taxiway at the Hernando County Airport.
Airport Manager Don Silvernell said staff got an emergency purchase order issued and a contractor on board who is expected to start repairs next week.
Barring any weather issues, the work should be completed and the taxiway re-opened in 45 days, he said.
Silvernell said the repair bill should come to about $280,000 and the airport should be reimbursed 75 percent from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)