Pasco County, United Way raising money for sinkhole victims

LAND O’LAKES, Fla. (AP) – Pasco County and United Way have partnered to start a fund to help homeowners affected by a massive sinkhole that swallowed two houses in Florida.

Alex Delgado of the United Way of Pasco County said during a news conference on Monday that the agency is raising money to help the families who lived in the two homes that were destroyed and nearby homes where residents are still displaced following Friday’s sinkhole.

Delgado says donations can be made through the agency’s website, unitedwaypasco.org, or by texting SINKHOLE to 41444.

County assistant administrator Kevin Guthrie says renters lived in the two destroyed homes and neither had renter’s insurance. He called their loss “catastrophic.”

Pasco County officials said in a news release that families from four of the homes that were initially evacuated were allowed to return Saturday evening. Five other homes are still deemed unsafe for occupancy.

Heavy equipment will be brought in Wednesday, July 19 to clean up debris left over from the damage caused by the sinkhole.

The sinkhole opened up Friday morning and grew to 225 feet (68 meters) in diameter and 50 feet (15 meters) deep, taking with it the two homes and a boat. No one was injured.

The scene is being considered a hazardous materials incident because of possible septic tank issues and building debris.

Citizens who need help can reach out to the following:

  • American Red Cross
  • The Salvation Army of Pasco County
  • Pasco County Human Services at 727-847-2411 (Monday-Friday)
  • Call the United Way of Pasco County 2-1-1; toll-free at 1-877-828-8929

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