Community steps in to help families affected by Pasco sinkhole

A fundraiser aims to help the victims who lost their homes

We've been keeping an eye on the Land O' Lakes sinkhole for you.

It didn't just destroy buildings. It took homes away from area families. Some lost everything.

“You don't expect to watch a sinkhole unfold over two hours and swallow two homes and then eat up the road,” says Tisha Doohen, who has been displaced, “then be told you need to evacuate because the sinkhole might be headed to the lake, and it might go through your house and your property.”

Saturday evening, the Lake Padgett community stepped in to help families like the Doohens.

A fundraiser was held at the Plantation Palms Golf Club.

The wine painting class charged $25 and half went to the families.

Kathy Knox, who lives in the area, put this fundraiser together. It started with just doing a painting class but quickly grew.

“People have just been donating anonymously, dropping stuff off for us to raise money, and 100 percent of the silent auction goes to the family,” says Knox.

The silent auction had various donations like a Tampa Bay Lightning signed jersey, jewelry and even gift cards.

Mulligans also donated $1 to every pitcher of beer ordered.

Although Doohen’s home is still standing, she still can’t get in.

“We don't know what's going to happen to our house. We don't know when we will be allowed in, if ever,” she says.

We know the sinkhole mess needs to be cleaned up, but the question now is, who's going to pay for it?

Pasco County has been haggling with the insurance companies of the houses eaffected, calling the cleanup a private matter.

So far, at least one of those insurers said it's not their problem. And another says they've already paid the property owner and have no further liability.

An emergency county commission meeting is scheduled for Monday morning to pick a contractor.

The bill, they promise, will be passed along to those insurers. It's expected to be somewhere between $650,000 to $1,200,000.

The cleanup is expected to take two to three weeks. 

 

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