It sounds like something from a horror story: in the middle of the night, the ground silently opens itself wide, swallowing a man completely while he is sound asleep in his own bedroom. Unfortunately, this actually happened to a 36-year-old Florida man in 2013, whose body was never recovered. This same hole opened up again recently, baffling experts who surveyed the area looking for explanations as to what happened. While sinkholes are a common problem in Florida, there also a problem here in South Carolina too. Injuries and damages caused by sinkholes can result in heavy damages. While local incidents involving sinkhole haven’t been as dramatic as the Florida sinkhole case, they are a cause for concern among local residents.
What Is a Sinkhole?
According to the United States Geological Service (USGS), sinkholes consist of an area formed underground where water drains and collects. They are usually formed as the result of dry grounds and heavy rains. The rain, rather than being absorbed into the ground, accumulates underground, sometimes forming ponds. Sinkholes can vary in size from just a few feet wide and a foot deep to as much as several acres wide and over a hundred feet deep. Sinkholes can go undetected for years, until the pressure of the land above causes a collapse. Often found in areas where the ground underneath is made up of limestone, salt beds, and rocks, sinkholes can be the result of natural as well as man made causes, such as collapsed underground mines, caves, and utility pipes.
While Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee are common areas for sinkhole formation, South Carolina also faces risks of sinkhole collapses. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has conducted extensive geological surveys and produced maps showing potential sinkhole collapse throughout the state. These areas include parts of the Low Country, much of the Midlands, as well as Charleston.
Local Cases of Sinkhole Collapse
Over June and July of 2015, sinkhole collapses in Darlington County caused alarm among local residents. While no one was hurt, there was property damage to vehicles caught in the collapse. The area where the sinkhole collapsed was near a fire station and the heavy weight of the fire trucks is thought to have contributed to the near disaster.
Sinkholes can cause serious and irreparable damage to the foundations of homes, resulting in millions of dollars in property damages. Smaller sinkholes reported in Greenville have caused ripples and uneven patches in sidewalks and on golf courses that could easily result in injuries such as slips, trips, and falls.
Reach Out to a Professional Today
If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered property damage as the result of a sinkhole collapse contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm today. Our experienced South Carolina personal injury attorneys understand the serious damages that can be caused by sinkholes. We will fight to hold responsible parties accountable and help you get the maximum compensation allowed by law.