Central Florida Dubbed ‘Sinkhole Alley’ After Dangerous Phenomenon

For Floridians, the prospect of a sinkhole popping up out of nowhere and engulfing their house is an odd but real possibility. Sinkholes are terrifying but improbable– on par with being attacked by alligators or swallowed by a shark. 

Central Florida is known as “Sinkhole Alley” due to the high frequency of devastating underground sinkholes that threaten adjacent homes and businesses with little to no notice.

The tragedy that befell an auto dealership in Lake Rose in 1981 is still a source of anxiety for many people in the state. Some of the vehicles involved are believed to be submerged even now.

A vast portion of Florida is covered by “Sinkhole Alley,” which stretches from Hillsborough County in Tampa to Daytona and runs through Maitland and Winter Park.

Sinkhole Alley is home to 20,145 of the approximately 27,000 sinkholes documented in Florida. These hazardous chasms may be found in Pasco, Hernando, and Hillsborough counties.

The renowned 1981 Winter Park sinkhole swelled to a diameter of 400 feet, devouring a three-bedroom house, five automobiles, two businesses, adjacent streets, and the bottom of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Since a sinkhole is usually a funnel that fails the surface and falls in, if one were to fly over Central Florida and witness extremely spherical lakes, it would likely be a sinkhole.

They pose a serious danger to local safety, despite their attractive appearance from above.

The fact that some sinkholes appear to occur at random is probably the most unsettling thing.

When sinkholes form on sandy soil, they usually generate warning signals in their depressions before they collapse. However, when they start to crumble under clay layers, they might collapse without warning.

Jeff Bush, 37, of Seffner, was asleep in 2013 when a sinkhole abruptly engulfed him. After his body fell into the abyss below, rescuers were unable to retrieve it.

The erosion that is eating away beneath the surface is really concealed by the clay, which acts as a barrier. Eventually, the clay will implode, bringing everything above it down with it.

If you want to know how dangerous a place is, look at the Florida Geological Survey sinkhole map.

Staying out of Florida’s approximately 30,000 sinkholes may eventually boil down to pure chance.