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during the extended freezes here.  They don't seem to be mentioning that at all.   The Seffner sinkhole making the news is in the strawberry-growing area, only 10 miles from Plant City.

They don't mention that homeowners in 2010 were told to leave their homes because the strawberry growers were going to be pumping to spray their crops in the next few days.  They were waiting on evaluations from their insurance.  No changes have been made since 2010 that I can find.  

Here are a bunch of links I accumulated in 2010, plus the personal story of a man who lost his home.

Plant City area strawberry growers pumped billions of gallons of water daily for 11 days

Homeowner loses home to sinkhole. Told to move out as strawberry fields start pumping again

One homeowner has been waiting on their insurance to determine the status of their home. Last week the company that was supposed to analyze the depth of the sinkhole refused to go there because they feared their equipment would sink into the ground.

This week they heard from the Southwest Water Management District (SWIFTMUD) that they needed to vacate their house at once.

Why? The strawberry growers might start pumping the aquifer again.

More about that long freeze.

Plant City area strawberry growers pumped billions of gallons of water daily for 11 days

BROOKSVILLE — Farmers in Hillsborough and Polk counties pumped nearly 1 billion gallons of water a day out of the aquifer during the 11-day cold snap this month, causing 85 reported sinkholes in the region and about 700 complaints of dried-up or damaged residential wells, according to figures released Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

That 1 billion gallon figure is 16 times the normal average permitted quantity of 60 million gallons a day that the farmers can use. It's 10 times the combined 103 million gallons a day that St. Petersburg and Tampa residents use. It's enough water to fill up more than 15,000 Olympic swimming pools.

At that time in 2010 they knew more sinkholes were coming.

During that time Plant City alone declared 11 homes uninhabitable, and they were watching 35 others.

At that time in 2010 they knew more sinkholes were coming.

During that time Plant City alone declared 11 homes uninhabitable, and they were watching 35 others.

The Seffner sinkhole inside that home is tragic. But Florida officials know that sinkholes will keep happening. There is no indication they intend to stop one of the major causes.

Originally posted to floridagal on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 06:18 PM PST.

Also republished by DKos Florida.

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