The science of sinkholes - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

The science of sinkholes

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In the blink of an eye, a sinkhole can swallow whole buildings, vehicles and even people in its wake. So how do you prepare for such an unpredictable event? And what signs should you look out for?

A sinkhole swallowed a resort in Florida early Monday morning. The "Summer Bay Resort" paradise sinking into the pit.

The 60-foot-wide crater in Clermont, Florida is just the latest incident.

In this year's string of sinkholes across the country.

In July, 60-year-old Pamela Knox plummeted into a nearly 20-foot sinkhole while driving on a busy Toledo, Ohio Street.

"As the car was falling, I just kept calling in the name of Jesus, and I just kept saying, 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," Pamela Knox, survived sinkhole collapse said.

But some haven't been so lucky.

"I couldn't get him out. I tried so hard. I tried everything I could," Jeremy Bush, tried to save brother from sinkhole said.

In February, a sinkhole opened up underneath a suburban Tampa home, killing 36-year-old Jeff Bush who was sleeping in his bedroom.

This is how sinkholes are formed: A cavity slowly develops in the limestone bedrock. Over time, it widens, eventually breaking the surface. Then, the clay and sand above collapse into the hole, swallowing everything in it's path.

Repairs can be costly.

"We thought we'd live and die here. we didn't have a Plan B," Tina and John Furlow, sinkhole under home said.

A plan is what sinkhole inspectors say could prevent destruction.

"Behind the stucco, the block could be broken. Just another sign of sinkhole activity, or at least enough to know to have your place tested," Mason Chickonski, sinkhole inspector said.

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