Depression opens under Pasco Co. home

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There were some terrifying moments in Pasco County when a woman discovered an 8x8-foot pit had caved in under her home. 

“It just plummeted, you know, it just went 'whoosh,'” said Megan Denison.

Most of the crater stretches beneath the foundation of her New Port Richey house.

Denison and her mother have lived at the Barclay Road property for six-years. Now they fear the depression will continue to grow and swallow their house.

“That happened within two hours, I was outside and walked up that area and it wasn’t there, and we came home two hours later and it was all gone, it all had caved in within just a couple hours,” Denison said.

Officials have deemed the property unsafe, evacuating the women. Denison says they will spend Thursday night in a hotel, and figure more out in the morning. 

She says everything is overwhelming and scary.

“It’s just a lot when someone knocks on your door and says you have five minutes to get all your stuff and get out,” she said.

The house right next door is only about six feet away from the cavity. Crews also advised that neighbor to leave, but he says he’s staying put.

“It seems like it’s okay, it hasn’t gotten any worse in seven-hours,” said Jerry Rooney. “I’ll be up half the night to be honest with you, watching that and seeing what’s happening.”

In the meantime, the County has called the Department of Environmental Protection, that’s the agency that will make the call if this depression qualifies as a sinkhole. So far, local officials believe it may have been caused by a faulty or leaky pipe.

“At this point in time it has all the typical shapes signs and symptoms of a sinkhole, with the exception that there are a couple of pipes that are close by,” Pasco County Assistant Administrator Public Safety, Kevin Guthrie said.  “We’re trying to verify if there was some pipe work done at this house recently or not.”

Since this depression is 100 percent on private property, Denison and her mother are completely responsible for getting a geological survey done and fixing up the hole.

County officials will be back out Friday morning to see if it got any bigger and will touch base with the Department of Environmental Protection.