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Sinkhole in Tampa Growing, Swallows Car

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By Jason Beahm on July 13, 2010 6:58 AM

Dude, where's my car?

A family in Tampa woke to a loud noise at around 6 a.m. Sunday. When they walked outside, it seemed that the family car, a 1995 Toyota Camry, was missing. It hadn't been stolen. They hadn't forgotten where they parked it after a hard night of partying. The car was actually sitting at the bottom of a sinkhole, 20 feet wide and 20 feet deep. And it's growing deeper.

After the family called for help, emergency crews were sent to the scene. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue arrived at Bordeaux Village Condominiums, located near the University of South Florida, shortly after 6 a.m. At least 11 families have been evacuated from units near the sinkhole. So far, there have not been any injuries reported, but it is a dangerous situation. The Red Cross has been contacted to help families who have had to evacuate; they intend to provide housing, food and other help as needed.

Resident Tressie Flanigan, interviewed by The Ledger said that after the power went out in her unit, she knew something was wrong. But Tressie Flanigan never would have expected the problem to be caused by a sinkhole. "I've seen them on TV," says Flanigan. "It's all over Tampa and all over Florida. I've seen them on the news, but here in my backyard?"

Workers are in the process of trying to remove the family's Camry from the sinkhole, then they will attempt to shore it up. The sinkhole is no threat to other area buildings, but it could continue to grow, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials said, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

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