For Seffner sinkhole family, there’s no escape - FOX 13 News

For Seffner sinkhole family, there’s no escape

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  • For Seffner sinkhole family, there’s no escapeMore>>

  • Sinkhole opens between two homes in Seffner

    Sunday, March 24 2013 1:00 PM EDT2013-03-24 17:00:18 GMT
    Another sinkhole has opened up in Seffner. The chasm appeared just after 7 p.m. Saturday between two homes in the 1400 block of Lakeshore Ranch Dr. The location is approximately 1.6 miles from the sinkhole
    Another sinkhole has opened up in Seffner. The chasm appeared just after 7 p.m. Saturday between two homes in the 1400 block of Lakeshore Ranch Dr.

Plenty of questions are still left unanswered about the latest potential sinkhole in Seffner, which forced two families out of their duplex until they can get a definitive answer on if or when it's safe to return.

And would you believe, Buddy Wicker and his family, who were victims of that deadly Seffner sinkhole, which took the life of Jeff Bush, are now living just a short distance away from these new trouble spots.

The family says they can't escape this nightmare.

"They're too close," said Janell Wicker Wheeler. "They need to just go away!"

Every new sinkhole report rattles Wheeler's family.

"Kind of makes you feel Seffner's sinking," she said hesitantly.

That comes after two new sinkhole scares within days of each other this week.

"Just everything came back, all again," she said, recounting that horrible night, Feb. 28.

One sinkhole is less than an 1/8 of a mile away from where the family is living now.

"Have you had a good night's sleep yet?" we asked her.

"No," she said.

"It's hard to sleep," said her father Buddy Wicker.

Family member Jeff Bush died Feb. 28 when that first sinkhole opened up on Faithway Drive under their home, swallowing his room. A couple days later, a second sinkhole appeared on Cedar Tree Lane.

And then over the weekend, another sinkhole appeared at Lakeshore Ranch Drive. The last one was Monday on Peach Avenue.

So, is it a sinkhole or not? The people who live in that Seffner duplex desperately want answers.

"I have stuff in my house," said Keith Simpson. "I need to get in and I can't get in, so it's really inconvenient right now."

"I kind of laughed about it and everybody says, ‘why are you laughing?'" said Wicker. "And I said well, what are they doing? Following us around?"

Wheeler gets emotional every time she looks through the fence. Their neighbors to the left are in a motel and don't know if they'll ever return. The same is the case for their other neighbor.

"She's staying there in the same motel from what I understand," said Wicker, who believes his community is suffering from an image problem with all these recurring sinkhole scares.

"I believe we're getting a bad rap out of it," said Wicker. "But God has a reason and a purpose for everything."

The family is still waiting for the go-ahead from the county so they can begin cleaning-up the property and working on a permanent memorial there for Bush.

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