In Today’s News: Florida Sinkhole Eats Boat and Swimming Pool

A sinkhole in Dunedin, Florida, has swallowed a 14-foot (4.3-meter) boat and a backyard swimming pool, and parts of two houses are collapsing into it. One house lost the boat and a screened-in porch. The neighboring house lost the in-ground swimming pool and the master bedroom. The garage is also giving way. The sinkhole is currently 70 feet (21 meters) wide and 53 feet (16 meters) deep. Police evacuated six houses in Dunedin, a city on central Florida’s west coast, and electric power and natural gas lines are cut off.

Sinkholes are relative common in Florida where sandy soil sits on top of layers of clay and limestone. Over time, an acid created from oxygen in water causes the limestone to dissolve, undermining the ground, which eventually gives way. In February, a man in Seffner, Florida, near Tampa, died when a sinkhole opened under his bedroom. His body was never recovered. In August, sections of a hotel at a resort near Orlando collapsed into a sinkhole. The guests escaped without injury.

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