NEW PORT RICHEY, FL — Families in six mobile homes in Caribbean Estates mobile home park in the Moon Lake Gardens area near New Port Richey have been asked to voluntarily evacuate their homes after a 15-foot sinkhole opened up in two yards on the 11790 block of Pearl Drive Monday, June 25.
According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, the 10- to 15-foot-deep depression appeared in two back yards seemingly overnight. Kevin Guthrie, Pasco County administrator for public safety, said a 911 call came in at about 1 p.m. about the incident.
“I am not the authority on sinkholes. The technical term I should be using at this point is depression,” said Guthrie. “But I will tell you after we went through this nearly a year to the date of the Land O’ Lakes sinkhole, (see related story), I can tell you it looks like a sinkhole; it’s acting like a sinkhole; it is probably a sinkhole.”
With heavy rains predicted tonight, Guthrie said the depression could worsen.
Guthrie said he notified the Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee and Florida Department of Environmental Protection and asked them to visit the site.
Guthrie said building inspectors are evaluating the homes and it appears they will “red tag” five of the six affected mobile homes, meaning they will be deemed unsafe for entry because they are within 50 feet of the depression.
“They are doing that out of an abundance of caution due to the approaching weather front we have tonight and will come back and reevaluate them tomorrow,” he said. “Those individuals will not be able to come back to those homes until the red tags have been removed.”
Guthrie said experts have told him that the depression is likely to spread two more feet on the southern edge due to settling.
Residents of three homes have agreed to evacuate.
“Those three are the most impacted by the depression,” he said.
The resident of another home has decided to remain.
“She’s right on the edge of the 50-foot clearance we normally do and she has decided to stay and see how things pan out over the next few days,” said Guthrie.
A fifth resident was unavailable and the sixth mobile home is being remodeled and is currently unoccupied, according to Guthrie.
“We will monitor this all night long with sheriff’s deputies to see if it is growing in size,” he said. “If it is, we will take the necessary steps to voluntarily evacuate more residents.”
Patch will provide updates as more information is made available.
Video via Pasco Fire Rescue