Is Your Car or House Safe from…Sinkholes?

Lex Minnick, Business Manager

Ever wondered if the ground underneath you could open up at any time or if your car in a parking lot wasn’t actually safe?

An IHOP restaurant parking lot in Meridian, Mississippi experienced this. Twelve cars were involved in the incident. The hole was 50 feet wide and 600 feet long that opened up outside the restaurant. Before the hole opened, power had gone out in the surrounding area.

The vehicles appeared to be stuck in mud and paving. Besides the damage of the cars, no injuries appeared to have occurred. It is said to not have been a sinkhole, more so called a cave-in but specifically NOT a sinkhole.

As of Monday, November 10th, they were investigating the scene to find the actual cause of the incident.

Another incident happened in Florida in mid August. This was classified as an actual sinkhole, not just a cave-in. Although this sinkhole had been closed, it reopened, bringing back many memories.

In 2013, a sinkhole had opened up, swallowing Jeff Bush and all his belongings within his room. Despite yelling to his brother, Jeremy, he never made it out. His body and belongings were never found or recovered.

“I couldn’t get him out. I tried so hard. I tried everything I could,” said Jeremy.

After this happened, Hillsborough County bought the land, including Jeff’s house and the house next door so that people weren’t in even more danger of the sinkhole.

That sinkhole is the one that reopened, 20 feet wide in the Tampa suburb in August. No one was hurt and there was no property damage. The only thing damaged was the feelings the Bush family has of the memory of their son.  

Florida is in fact known for their sinkholes, being called “sinkhole alley.” It is on a bedrock full of limestone that over time is eaten away by acidic groundwater. This then is given away to sinkholes.

“Well I think they’re incredibly scary and I have to wonder why we seem to be seeing an increase in them,” states local Ellie Minnick.

Many other sinkholes are being inspected in hopes of preventing more destructive events from occurring.