LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) — Newly-released body camera video shows the frightening moments when homeowners on Ocean Pines Drive in Land O’ Lakes were told they needed to evacuate their homes after a massive sinkhole nearby swallowed two homes.
Pasco County Deputy Jason Murphy’s body cam video shows him explaining to people that they needed to grab any important items they would need.
One neighbor is seen asking him when they could return.RELATED:Sinkhole swallows 2 homes in Land O’ Lakes
“We have somebody from emergency management assessing it now, and he suggests that it is going to move towards the lake. So it will be what he determines on what time and if you guys are allowed to come back,” says Deputy Murphy.
Many residents were evacuated last Friday.
This week, three more homeowners were told to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, in case the sinkhole grows, but at a press conference Thursday, an official “emphatically” insisted the sinkhole was not growing, and that they haven’t seen any movement within the last 12 to 18 hours.
Twenty water wells tested negative for E. Coli.
At Thursday’s press conference, Assistant County Administrator Kevin Guthrie laid out the contractual costs and estimated cost of cleanup. He said they plan to employ one of two tactics to remove debris from the sinkhole — a dragline, costing approximately $750,000, and another methodology which could cost upwards of $2 million. Guthrie said they worry using a dragline may destabilize the banks, and they’re currently trying to determine which tactic will be the most cost effective and safe.
In an effort to provide homeowners some peace of mind, Pasco County waived well water testing fees for more than 400 homes located along Lake Padgett and Lake Saxton. This is in effect through Friday, July 28, 2017.RELATED STORY: Videos tell story of homes destroyed by Land O’ Lakes sinkhole
All residents living on the following streets qualify for free well water testing: Bronze Leaf Place, Canal Place, Clover Leaf Lane, Flat Rock Place, Grove Place, Heatherwood Lane, Lake Padgett Drive, Lake Saxon Drive, Ocean Pines Drive, Panther Way, Peninsular Drive, Pine Shadow Drive, Rain Forest Place, Snook Circle, Swans Landing Drive and Wilsky Road.
Residents who would like their well water tested should do the following:
- Go to the Pasco County Environmental Laboratory located at 8864 Government Drive in New Port Richey and request a test kit for Total Coliform.
- Present proof of address and receive lab instructions to collect water.
- Take a sample of their tapwater according to lab protocols, and bring the sample and associated paperwork back to the laboratory.
- Results will be available in 2 days.
Pasco County is coordinating with the Florida Department of Health to do additional well water testing, which is expected begin late Thursday into Friday.
To find out how you can support victims of the sinkhole, visit unitedwaypasco.org. You can also text the word SINKHOLE to 41444 to give a donation. Guthrie says 100% of the proceeds will go to the victims.
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