Possible sinkhole reported in yard in Florida

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 14, 2013 at 10:17 pm •  Published: November 14, 2013

Homeowner Michael Dupre said the family heard a noise that sounded like a sledgehammer pounding on the wall early Thursday morning.

Dupre told Bay News 9 there had been "sinkhole activity" in the area. "After the Seffner sinkhole, we were scared. We've been dealing with our insurance company and finally two days ago, they started working on our house. Now it looks like our house is gone."

As the hole grew, it swallowed the Dupre's porch and new boat. Now, his neighbor's swimming pool and a portion of that home have fallen in as well.

Engineers were called in to assess the homes and ultimately decided both Dupre's home and his neighbor's would be complete losses.

A backhoe was used to pull Dupre's boat from the hole. Crews had feared fuel in the boat could leak into groundwater. Otherwise, the rescue crews are in a holding pattern until the hole stabilizes.

State officials say three counties in the Tampa region are known as "sinkhole alley." Two-thirds of the sinkhole damage claims reported to the state Office of Insurance Regulation between 2006 and 2010 came from Hernando, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Dunedin is in neighboring Pinellas County.