An insurance company engineer will have to determine whether a large hole that swallowed a woman's drive in Holiday is a sinkhole, Pasco County officials said Monday.
The crater opened up a day earlier outside the home on Calais Drive. The homeowner escaped, but her car is trapped in the garage.
Authorities have said the hole, which is 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep, is not spreading and the home's structure does not appear to have been compromised. But they hesitated to call it a sinkhole until an engineer examined it.
"This looks like nothing but a sinkhole," said Taylor Yarkosky, a sinkhole expert with Advanced Pier Technology. "It's what I would call a cover collapse. It's a smaller one but in my opinion, yes, it's a sinkhole."
Yarkosky criticized the county for not condemning the house. The county has said the hole is completely on private property, so they won't get directly involved.
"Why would you even take the chance of letting them back in there?" he said. "This house should be deemed uninhabitable. They should condemn it until we can figure out what is going on here."
The homeowner is currently staying with a close friend.
Neighbors said the uncertainty over whether this is a sinkhole is concerning.
"I was shocked, just utter disbelief," said Edward Vagi. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing was in my neighborhood."
"I was a little scared, a little wondering what was going on," said Rich Smith, who has lived in the community for 11 years. "It puts a real damper on the neighborhood, because the neighborhood was going up and it's not good."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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