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Cold weather brings some chilling memories to Hillsborough homeowners | News

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Cold weather brings some chilling memories to Hillsborough homeowners

Plant City, Florida - Jim Harlow still has some cracks on his house that remind him of last January. That's when houses on Creek Way Court began creaking in a bad way.

The sinkholes in the neighborhood caused one house to be condemned and they damaged several others, including Harlow's. The expanding edges of the sinkholes kept homeowners on edge.

"Every other minute we were out here seeing what was going on in the neighborhood," recalls Harlow.

Last January, Farmers pumped billions of gallons of water on their fields trying to save their crops during 11 straight days of freezing temperatures.  Many blame the pumping for the 140 sinkholes that opened up in neighborhoods and on roads.

So with water once again being sprayed, homeowner concerns are pumped up too.

"It's nerve wracking again this year," says Jackie Zimmerman. "I don't know if the same one's going to open up and get bigger. We didn't see any damage last year, but it's definitely a concern."

While new freeze water guidelines have been developed, they are not yet in place. And while homeowners might have wanted quicker action, water managers say the cold snap we have right now is nothing like last January.

"Last year was an absolutely unprecedented 11 day freeze night;" says Robyn Felix, spokesperson for the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWIFTMUD). "We had never seen anything like it in recorded history."

So for homeowners now feeling the chill, they can only hope for a warm winter.


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