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'This needs to end': Pasco County commission looks to help Hudson neighborhood trapped by depressions

After applying for federal grants and getting denied, the county is now looking into buying and demolishing homes in Hudson.

HUDSON, Fla. — It's been nearly two years after holes were first spotted in a community in Hudson, but the road is still blocked off.

"When I see my neighbors bring out their beach carts and wheelbarrows just to bring in the groceries, it's ridiculous. But I have to say the county, they're doing the best they can to help is," neighbor Kelly Usher said.

Usher had three depressions open in her own backyard. Her home is right on the edge of the closure on Willow Brook Court. Her driveway has become a part of the neighborhood's new parking lot.

"People don't realize what we have to go through every day," Usher said.

More than 70 depressions have opened up in the Hudson neighborhood over the past few years. The problem lies underground.

"There's a cave system that goes from Teakwood Lane, all the way through that area up to US-19. Between droughts or heavy rains, it produced the cave system to essentially collapse to a certain extent. That led to the sinkholes that we currently see, and have impacted the community that surrounds it," Monica Santiago with Pasco County Emergency Management said.

The Operations Manager says the holes were discovered in August 2019. The road has been shut down ever since.

"We have approximately six homes that are directly impacted by the closure of that road," Santiago said.

After applying for federal grants and getting denied, Commissioner Jack Mariano continues working to find a solution. 

"It's been devastating effects for them. They've been dramatically inconvenienced with their quality of life," Mariano said.

The county is now looking into buying and demolishing the homes. The cost will range anywhere between $1-2 million.

"There's no funding out there, it's now going to fall back in our laps to try to make the situation right. It's extraordinary circumstances, which would say that the commission could actually make this move forward to get them out of their homes," Mariano said.

Until a decision is made neighbors will continue their workarounds, hoping this nightmare will end soon.

"The road will never open again, so it's time to put this thing to bed and give us something here so we can move on with our lives," neighbor Thomas Murray said.

You can find more out about sinkholes on the USGS's website.

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