Updating Breaking News: GFR setting up rescue strategy in case someone falls into sinkhole

Gainesville Fire Rescue

What happens if a person falls into a sinkhole?
Gainesville Fire Rescue has been working on a strategy to potentially carry out a rescue operation just in case it's necessary as a 100-foot wide sinkhole continues to grow in a residential area of NW Gainesville.
By 3 p.m. on Oct. 28th, GFR District Chief Jeff Schuhmacher was standing near the sinkhole and describing the hole that has reached 35 feet to the water line below.


"It has forced the evacuation of four households so far,"  Schuhmacher, said.
"And a tactical team is setting up a rescue strategy in case someone gets too close."
The hole that first appeared on Oct. 23rd near 4006 NW 13th Place has swallowed up a tree, a pool and continues to grow.
Various neighbors have been capturing images of the sinkhole using drones and posting them on social media.
Schuhmacher said, "The pool fell in yesterday and the hole is continuing to grow."


"GFR has been working closely with GRU to monitor the situation," Schuhmacher said.
They are monitoring what direction the hole is growing toward and pre-planning for rescue scenarios.
Of the four houses affected by the hole, two have been vacated and home owners of the other two are packing and preparing to leave as of Oct. 28th.
Schuhmacher said that power in the area has been rerouted and that none of the four homes in danger has utilities connected at this time.

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"Until it stops, there's nothing that can be done," Schuhmacher said and added that there is a 40 percent chance of rain in the next few days which could affect the size of the sinkhole.

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