PASCO COUNTY -- Workers in charge of removing debris from a massive sinkhole in Land O' Lakes have been bringing some of it to a local landfill, where people who own and rent the destroyed properties can try to salvage something, or anything of value.
Gary Grubbs and his company were hired by Pasco County to remove the debris from the sinkhole. Grubbs and his team are attempting to clean it out by climbing into the 50-foor deep abyss.
"We got lifejackets. We've got the ropes. We've got everything we need on there just in case something happens."
Most, if not all of the debris belongs to people who'd been renting the two houses destroyed on day one. Somewhere i there-- several automobiles, two boats, a motorcycle and more. Including, cash. A wad of 19 $100 bills that floated out as they were working.
Describing what he say, Grubbs said, "We were just digging around, removing material, and it came out of something. Just kind of floating in the water. And it was all stuck together."
Exclusive video from “inside the hole” shows how the team uses a barge and a small front loader to collect what they can find, then load it into nearby dump trucks. Debris from the sinkhole is eventually making its way here, to the Pasco County landfill of Hays Road.
Officials say most of the debris is too damaged to salvage, but the rest has been scattered on a spot where renters can sift through it at their own risk. Warning them some of it may have been exposed to bio-contamination that Grubbs team faces constantly.
"It's a dangerous situation. We have to go through some specific procedures that allow us to stay safe."
As for the biggest iteams, the cars? The boats? "Gone," says Grubbs. Sucked underground too deep for them to reach. But Tuesday morning his team did find a file cabinet in the last small piece of the house still standing and what appeared to be important legal papers inside. A small victory, amid so much -- loss.