Residents In Waterfront Townhouse Complex Forced To Flee From Homes After 'Rogue' Canal Swallows Up Backyard
In Sunrise, Florida, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:
- The bizarre collapse of a canal bank in Sunrise forced the evacuation of a strip of townhouses, as residents scrambled into their clothes and hustled their children onto the sidewalk for safety.
- No one knows yet what caused the accident Thursday night, which swallowed the backyards of several homes in the Spring Tree Cove West complex just north of Oakland Park Boulevard.
- Engineers from the homeowners' insurance companies were on the scene Friday, walking along the jagged, muddy cliff that reached within a foot or two from the townhouses' back doors.
- Six units were evacuated, and bright orange unsafe structure stickers were placed on the doors. A seventh unit is vacant. Lawn decorations of Santa, Christmas trees and snowmen stood behind yellow police tape. On Friday afternoon, as a police officer stood by, residents were allowed back into their homes to retrieve perishables, valuables and personal belongings.
- Although sinkholes are rare in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, where the limestone layer is thin, their numbers have been growing. [...] Palm Beach County did not have enough claims to be listed separately. [...] Sinkholes are abundant in the state's "sinkhole belt" of Hernando, Pasco and Hillsborough counties, where thicker limestone can form major sinkholes and where insurers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for sinkhole damage.
- [Resident Alan] Lueck, the man who saw the bank collapse, said he had alerted the city about a year and a half ago to a hole that had appeared in his backyard and led down to the canal. A city inspector came out and told him not to worry about it, he said, so he filled it in and forgot about it, until Thursday night.
For the story, see Sunrise condo residents displaced after backyards fall into canal.