(Memphis) A 30-foot-wide unstable sinkhole is apparently what swallowed 37-year-old Jeff Bush inside his Florida home.
Sinkholes are common in Florida, a state dubbed the sinkhole capital, but experts such as physics professor Michio Kaku say other states are at risk including one here in the Mid-South.
“This was the Godzilla of sinkholes. There are seven states where this is a growing problem. You’ve got Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. This is an area not confined to Florida, Kaku said on CBS This Morning.
Rainfall, which moistens the soil and combines with its limestone, makes several states like Tennessee particularly susceptible.
Steve Campbell is with Memphis Inspections Service. He has been a home inspector for 12 years.
He says sinkholes are rare in West Tennessee, but he says there are some potential signals such as cracks in the foundation of houses and apartments.
“The warning signs would be if all of a sudden doors were sticking to their frame or they drag the floor or windows that once operated normally or don’t open anymore,” Campbell said.
Campbell says current homeowners should have a professional look at crawl spaces for possible joints they may have shifted under a house.
He says new homeowners should have their property carefully inspected before making a purchase and check with your insurance agent to see if you’re covered for sinkholes or not.
“I’m probably going to call my insurance person and asked because I’m more concerned with flood and earthquake insurance,” Campbell said.