The Tampa Bay area has been the site of two large sinkholes in recent years. A chasm that suddenly appeared in March 2013 killed a man. In July 2014, a sinkhole caused chaos in a nearby residential area.
In the first incident, Tampa resident Jeff Bush died when the earth opened beneath him as he slept in his bed, Fox News reported. The hole measured 30 feet across and averaged 20 feet in depth. Some parts of the cavity plunged more than five times this depth, which thwarted attempts to recover Bush's body.
With the memory of that tragedy still fresh in people's minds, the Tampa Bay Times reported July 20, 2014, that the ground had collapsed again. It happened in Spring Hill, 55 miles from Tampa. Unlike the earlier sinkhole, it did not appear all at once. Neighbors watched the ground slowly break away as the hole expanded to 40 feet in width and 30 feet in depth. For people living in the immediate vicinity, it was a disaster. They feared that the ground would continue to open and eventually swallow their homes. The Times' Kathryn Varn interviewed residents who said they planned to move to more stable ground. Some of them lost driveways and parts of their yards to the crater.
While sinkholes occur throughout the country, they are more common in Florida due to the region's moist climate. Sinkholes generally are a result of erosion of the landscape caused by flood waters.