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HomeBusiness & CommunitySinkhole Forms in Royal Highlands After Attempt to Drill Well

Sinkhole Forms in Royal Highlands After Attempt to Drill Well

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On the week of June 14, a large sinkhole opened up on the lot on the southwest corner of Marvelwood Road and Mississippi Kite Avenue. The hole was about fifty feet deep and 40 feet wide. The sinkhole’s sides appear to be sand, so the hole could continue to expand. Often, sinkholes will have limestone sides since the void could be a hole in the limestone formation that collapses.

The sinkhole opened up on a construction site that was having the foundation boards set up and undermined some of the boards toward the south. On an adjacent lot, there is a recently occupied house located near the sinkhole as well.

A neighbor who preferred to remain anonymous told the Hernando Sun that the sinkhole started as a well being drilled earlier in the week and kept expanding. We were able to confirm this information. Well drilling can trigger a collapse especially if they blow air down the hole to carry out silt and cuttings, but even just the drilling can cause a collapse.

The property with the sinkhole is owned by Vitale Homes and they were planning to build a Verona Model home, which is a four-bedroom, three-bath, three-car garage house on the lot, which has a listing price of around $450,000. We contacted Vitale Homes for comment and so far have not received a response.

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The lot is located approximately 800 feet from the edge of the Lake Hideaway Development, which has been controversial for its usage of large machinery. There has been significant speculation that this sinkhole is related to this development.

Another possible cause is the hard rains that come at the end of the dry season when aquifer levels are lowest. It is common to see this type of sinkhole from the end of May to the beginning of July.

There was previously a small collapse at the Lake Hideaway Development adjacent to the dewatering pit. The dewatering pit is a retention area where water is pumped keeping the rest of the construction site dryer. This collapse was grouted up, remediating the issue.

Vitale Homes permit box where they were building the Verona model home until a sinkhole formed last week. [Photo by Julie Maglio]
Vitale Homes permit box where they were building the Verona model home until a sinkhole formed last week. [Photo by Julie Maglio]

Rocco Maglio
Rocco Magliohttps://www.roccomaglio.com
Rocco Maglio is a co-founder of the Hernando Sun. He grew up in Brooksville and graduated from Hernando High. He then worked in technology for starting in the early 1990s. He was fascinated by the potential of the Internet even though at the time there were not graphical browsers. He recently earned a Master of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in Cybersecurity.
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