Family waits as crews evaluate sinkhole under home - FOX 13 News

Family waits as crews evaluate sinkhole under home

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PLANT CITY (FOX 13) -

The sounds of a jackhammer echoed along Country Hills Court North in Plant City on Wednesday.

Sinkhole repair specialists were back at the house where a sinkhole opened up over the weekend.

On Wednesday, the goal was to stabilize the house.

The homeowner, Tom Manus, watched as crews first ripped up the concrete porch in the backyard.

As they pulled up a 6-foot section, chills crept up on his neck.The grout that had been poured in the day before was nowhere to be seen.

Tom says he watched on Tuesday as the grout poured in.

"It was flowing in there pretty good. Don't know which way it was going, but it was flowing pretty good."

After the slab was up, they took a 6-foot probe rod, jamming it into the ground. The idea was to see how soft the soil was underneath.

At several spots, the rod went all the way to the end, a clear indication of the voids underground.

Walking around the property, Tom says he's finding new cracks each day: cracks on the outside wall, blocking off Turkey Creek Road, are now at least 1/4 inch wider.

And a crack on a walkway leading to his front door has opened up. Tom says that crack was there before, but it reopened and now the cement on each side is not level.

Crews from LRE Ground Services spent the day underpinning the house.They pushed pins down through the soil to the limestone, 70 feet deep, using hydraulics.

They added two brackets, which the house will sit on, to stabilize it.

"It will stabilize this part of the house so they can determine how bad it actually is underneath the house. It's just the first step in the process. It might take months to figure out what we need to do with the house."

Geologists are still going over the data collected by Ground Penetrating Radar. They will determine the size and extent of the sinkhole.

Tom Manus says he and his family will then decide if they will ever move back in.

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