INTERVIEWER: What if the unthinkable happens to your home? We have a sinkhole expert here, Ted Corless and joining us, a little bit more about, first off, what home owners can do. First of all, before something like that happens, what we saw in Hudson, what are some of the signs that people can look out for in their homes? TED CORLESS: Well, one of the things I recommend to all home owners, and I do this as a home owner, is to do annual inspection of your home. Record its condition both inside and out with a video camera and that way you have a better sense. If you were to see an unusual crack or something in your house that you hadn’t recorded previously that may be an indication that you have some kind of settlement problem going on at the home. INTERVIEWER: Will insurance cover a sinkhole damage? TED CORLESS: My first answer is YES. However, in two counties, Hernando County and Pasco County, as of January the insurance will automatically be taken out. Home owners need to decide if this a coverage that they want for their homes, which I recommend they do have and they can then contact their agent and add it back in. INTERVIEWER: Now, let’s say, for some of the neighbors in the Hudson community, do they need to be concerned as well that maybe they should get their properties checked out here? TED CORLESS: Sinkholes are to Florida what earthquakes or forest fires are to Southern California, obviously something they need to be concerned about. But, again, I think if you have a real good understanding of the condition of your home you’ll have a sense of whether you’re developing a serious problem. INTERVIEWER: If you can talk to us a little bit more about what causes these sinkholes in the first place? You say they are so common… TED CORLESS: They are, they really are. Sinkholes are kind of an ancient geological condition that is a part of Florida. Quickly, there is an area of rock beneath the homes in the state of Florida and the commercial, obviously, everywhere. Essentially, what happens is, is there are houses that are resting on that rock. Well, it rains a couple of times a year in Florida and as that water hits that rock it makes it dissolve a little bit so, sometimes you have openings in the rock, where soil goes through and then this kind of conditions can happen. INTERVIEWER: So this really can happen anywhere and for what we know some areas are more prone? TED CORLESS: Absolutely. The areas that obviously get the most press are areas like Hernando County, Pinellas-Pasco, you don’t see them as much in the more southern areas but they certainly exist. I’ve seen sinkholes as far as Fort Myers, so it does happen and as far north as Gainesville. INTERVIEWER: Just one last quick question here. What’s the best resource for people? Where would you recommend they go to learn more about this? TED CORLESS: I think there’s some great government organization, there’s a lot of online services, blogs that exist for people who report about different problems they’re having. INTERVIEWER: Okay. Well, thank you so much for waking up early and joining us in this Labor Day weekend, we do appreciate it. Thank you. TED CORLESS: Thank you very much. INTERVIEWER: Bobby, we’re gonna go and send it to you. We’re talking about rain and sinkholes, what are we going to see for this weekend?
December 20, 2016