Sinkhole opens up between homes in retirement community

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How Do You Predict Sinkholes? Call NASA

A retirement community in Florida is both physically and figuratively on edge as a sinkhole between two houses appears to be reopening after it was filled.

WTSP says, "A huge sinkhole that was filled just days ago in the retirement community of The Villages appears to be opening up again. It is threatening two homes in Sumter County."

WOFL says residents noticed the sinkhole over Easter weekend. Repair crews attempted to fill it and the ground was said to be stabilized. But then neighbors noticed the sinkhole was growing.

The sinkhole was about 65 feet wide and and 75 feet deep. Crews have now filled the hole with dirt and plan on monitoring it to see if it grows any more.

WJXT notes sinkholes have become a regular phenomenon. Last March, a Florida man died when a sinkhole essentially swallowed him alive while he was sleeping.

More recently, the ground opened up under part of a museum in Kentucky, swallowing up eight cars. They were corvettes belonging to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.

But "CBS This Morning" says NASA is working on research that will help determine where sinkholes will open and whether they'll spread.

"Using unique radar technology that transmits electronic pulses, scientists can map out how the Earth's crust is shifting ... How accurate is this radar? centimeters, down to the centimeter level."

NASA says research shows surface layers move just slightly before a collapse - in some cases, even a month before the ground seemingly just disappears.

"This kind of movement may be more common than previously thought, particularly in areas with loose soil near the surface."

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