WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Monday that he “did not collude” with Russia and had roughly four meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign and presidential transition. In a written statement released ahead of his appearance before lawmakers in closed-door sessions, Kushner said […]
Water to be tested in area where sinkhole swallowed homes
LAND O’LAKES, Fla. (AP) — Cleanup efforts at the site of a sinkhole that swallowed two Florida homes and jeopardized a third house will begin in earnest on Wednesday, as county officials, geologists and insurance adjusters begin the process of figuring out what to do with the properties, local officials said Monday.
Heavy equipment will be brought in Wednesday to the neighborhood in Pasco County, north of Tampa, to clean up debris left over from the damage caused by the sinkhole. It opened up Friday morning and grew to 225 feet (68 meters) in diameter and 50 feet (15 meters) deep, taking with it the two homes and a boat. No one was injured.
In all, 11 homes were affected. Residents of four homes that were initially evacuated were allowed to return over the weekend, and five homes remained evacuated Monday morning.
Kevin Guthrie, Pasco County’s assistant administrator for public safety, said engineers were still trying to determine “where the safe edge is at.”
“We are doing everything in our power to get those folks back in these homes as fast as we can,” Guthrie said at a news conference Monday morning.
Local officials believe the sinkhole has stabilized since there has been no new activity.
All of the homeowners had some kind of insurance. Occupants of two of the destroyed homes were renters and they didn’t have renters’ insurance “so the contents of the renters are not covered at all,” Guthrie said.
Utility workers will be removing overhead obstructions for the heavy equipment, insurance adjusters are visiting the neighborhood and water samples are being taken. Guthrie said the water sample results would be known by Tuesday for the neighborhood where many residents use wells.
The United Way is starting a fund to help homeowners affected by the sinkhole.
Alex Delgado of the United Way of Pasco County said the agency is raising money to help the families who lived in the two homes that were destroyed and nearby homes.
Local officials also are discussing what to do with the properties. There is nothing the county can legally do if the homeowners want to rebuild on the site, as long as they follow code, Guthrie said.
Another option under discussion is having the county purchase the properties and then connecting the sinkhole area to a nearby lake.
“We’re going to take a look at all the options and then we will come up with the best option that works for the community, the homeowners and all those involved,” Guthrie said.
- President Trump’s son-in-law Kushner says ‘I did not collude’ with foreign government
Jul 24, 2017
- Farmer blocked at market over religious views on marriage
Jul 20, 2017
- The vice president says the U.S. embassy in Israel will move
Jul 19, 2017
- Calif. Retirement community is curbing Bible studies
Jul 20, 2017
- Sean Spicer resigns as White House spokesman
Jul 21, 2017
Editorial CartoonsView More »
Fri, Jul 21, 2017