On Thursday February 28, 2013, Jeff Bush was sleeping in his bed when a sinkhole opened up underneath his bedroom and swallowed him up in a deep, dark hole in the earth. This sounds like something out of a movie, but this really happened to this poor man. I cannot imagine a more terrifying situation as this. Most sinkholes you see are in the back or front yard of a home, giving the residents of the home a little time to gather their belongings, and leave the house safely. This sinkhole opened up underneath of the house, which is really scary, because you may not get the early warning signs such as cracks in the floor or walls of the house before the sinkhole opens up. In the case of Jeff Bush, it appears there were no warning signs leaving him a victim of a deadly sinkhole. It has also been reported that this house was inspected for sinkholes a few months ago for insurance purposes, and was found to be safe from sinkholes.
From what I understand, sinkholes are unpredictable. There are certain areas that are more prone to sinkholes. Florida is a state that has a long history of sinkholes. The area of Florida where Jeff Bush lived has been named “sinkhole alley” because of the large number of sinkholes in that area. This does not mean that sinkholes have not opened up in other areas of Florida. There was a large sinkhole that opened up in an area near Orlando in 2012, that forced a family to have to evacuate their home. The difference in this sinkhole tragedy is that Jeff Bush lost his life. Officials are saying this sinkhole is rare, and the fact that there was a loss of life is also a rarity. Sinkholes in Florida are usually an issue of property damage and loss, but rarely loss of life.
As a Floridian, this tragedy made me take sinkholes much more serious. I always realized and accepted that sinkholes are a possibility here in Florida, but I always thought you would have warning signs before the hole swallowed up your home. The fact is you may not have a warning, just as Jeff Bush didn’t have a warning. I have read and heard many people saying they would never live in Florida because of these sinkholes, but what people need to realize is that sinkholes can happen anywhere. I guess people shouldn’t live in California because of the wildfires and earthquakes, or maybe people shouldn’t live in Kansas because of the tornadoes. This situation is truly tragic, but these things happen because they are an act of nature, and we can never predict what Mother Nature has in store for us. The only thing you can do is try to take all of the precautions you can to avoid these kinds of tragedies, but ultimately we are all vulnerable to being victims of acts of nature.
What, if anything, could have been done to avoid this tragedy?