UNITED STATES NEWS

A Florida sinkhole that claimed a man’s life in 2013 reopens, this time harmlessly

Jul 12, 2023, 11:16 AM | Updated: 12:16 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sinkhole that in 2013 fatally swallowed a man sleeping in his own house has reopened for a third time, only now it’s behind chain-link fencing and doing no harm to people or property.

Hillsborough County officials said the sinkhole located in the Tampa suburb of Seffner appeared again Monday, which they said is not unusual for such underground formations especially in central Florida with its porous limestone base. The hole was about 19 feet (6 meters) wide at its largest point.

“None of the homes surrounding this appear to be in any danger,” said Jon-Paul Lavandeira, director of the county code enforcement department. “This is not uncommon, what we’re seeing here.”

A decade ago, 37-year-old Jeff Bush was sleeping in a bedroom when the earth opened up and devoured him and part of the house. Five other people escaped unharmed and Bush’s brother, Jeremy, tried in vain to dig him out of the hole. Jeff Bush’s body has never been found.

“There’s not a day goes by I don’t think about my brother,” Jeremy Bush told WTSP-TV. “This is the only place I’ve got to visit him.”

After Bush’s home was demolished, county officials erected a pair of fences around the lot to prevent any further injury. The sinkhole opened again in 2015 and was filled in with a water-gravel mixture, Lavandeira said at a news conference Tuesday. That will be done again.

“If there’s a reoccurrence, it’s in a controlled area. It’s going to stay right there,” he said.

Sinkholes are as much a part of the Florida landscape as sandy beaches, alligators and developers. Florida has more sinkholes than any state in the nation, mainly because the peninsula is comprised of porous carbonate rocks such as limestone that store and help move groundwater.

When dirt, clay or sand on top gets too heavy for the limestone roof, it can collapse and form a sinkhole. Sinkholes are caused naturally but they can be triggered by outside events such as rainfall or from pumping groundwater used to irrigate crops. The central Florida region is ground zero for sinkholes, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The state Office of Insurance Regulation said sinkhole claims in Florida cost insurers $1.4 billion from 2006 to 2010.

Most sinkholes are small, affecting things like parking lots and roadways. But some are quite large, such as one near Orlando that grew to 400 feet (121 meters) across in 1981 and swallowed five cars, most of two businesses, a three-bedroom house and the deep end of an Olympic-size swimming pool.

It’s quite likely the Seffner sinkhole will reopen sometime in the future, Lavandeira said.

“This is Mother Nature. This is not a man-made occurrence,” he said.

United States News

Associated Press

Judge says $475,000 award in New Hampshire youth center abuse case would be ‘miscarriage of justice’

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The judge who oversaw a landmark trial over abuse at New Hampshire’s youth detention center says capping the verdict at $475,000 as the state proposes would be an “unconscionable miscarriage of justice.” In a lengthy order issued Wednesday, Judge Andrew Schulman outlined five options for addressing the dispute that arose after […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Those who helped file voting fraud allegations are protected from suit, North Carolina justices say

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a defamation lawsuit against attorneys who assisted voters with submitting some 2016 ballot complaints, saying the fraud allegations they helped make were broadly protected within the protest process. The 5-0 ruling overturns the decision of a lower appeals court that determined only […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

NY judge imposes $15 million fine on unlicensed cannabis shops owner who says he gave free samples

The owner of seven unlicensed cannabis shops in New York whose promotions included an Easter egg hunt has been fined more than $15 million after state officials complained he repeatedly ignored notices to stop operating without approval, authorities said. A state Supreme Court justice in Lyons, New York, imposed the fine against David Tulley on […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

State dinner honoring Kenya showcases country star Brad Paisley and gospel music

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is throwing one of its biggest-ever state dinners for Kenyan President William Ruto and leaning in to the African leader’s tastes by showcasing two uniquely American types of music: gospel and country. The dinner Thursday night in a pavilion erected on the South Lawn is featuring performances by country […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Artist who created Precious Moments figurines depicting teardrop-eyed children dies at the age of 85

CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) — Sam Butcher, the artist who created the Precious Moments figurines depicting angelic teardrop-eyed children, has died. He was 85. The company said in a Facebook post that he died early Monday surrounded by family. It said his life’s mission was “to share God’s gift of love with the world.” No details […]

5 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: Remembering the meaning behind Memorial Day

Jim Sharpe takes a look back in Thursday’s Sharper Point commentary and reflects on the true meaning behind Memorial Day. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

A Florida sinkhole that claimed a man’s life in 2013 reopens, this time harmlessly