PUNTA GORDA –
Sinkholes are just one of a few hazards of living in the Sunshine State. There are concerns that people living on waterways could lose part of their property if they’re not paying attention to sinkhole risks.
Though the sinkhole risk is just about anywhere, the most recent one we found is on the 1600 block of Casey Key Drive in Punta Gorda Isles.
“We’ve got a couple areas that are problematic. They get a little bit of sinking behind the seawall cap,” said Punta Gorda Isles resident Jake Dye.
Dye walked us through his backyard Monday and explained he often checks for the lurking danger.
In fact, he said he’s called for help on six sinkholes in 11 years.
“You and I were just out walking around and we found an area that sinks down a little bit. So I’ll call the city to take care of that,” Dye said.
Randy Brodersen, with Punta Gorda Public Works, says city workers use a shell-based material to fill in sinkholes and warn against using anything else.
“Anything they can dig, they’re thrown in a hole to try to fill it up. Well, the water is just going to go right around these items. It’s not going to give a solid compaction,” he explained.
Brodersen says his department gets after 30 calls a week about the small sinkholes from those living on the water – especially once the rainy season starts.
“If we can get to these sinkholes as they occur. We can stop that progression of a seawall failing earlier and try to protect them,” Brodersen said.
So while the view may be crystal for those on these waters, it’s a constant struggle to save their property from the subtle yet serious sinkholes.
Punta Gorda is a rarity in Southwest Florida in that the city actually handles seawall problems. The cost is picked up by a yearly charge there.
But in most places, like Cape Coral for instance, a new seawall will run the homeowner about $10,000.
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