‘Science of Sinkholes’ program to offer clues to scary part about living in Florida

A program on sinkholes will be offered at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17 at Laurel Manor Recreation Center. It is sponsored by the Property Owners Association.

This discussion will explain the nuances of the geology under Central Florida that makes The Villages vulnerable to sinkholes. A geotechnical engineer will guide us through the formation of sinkholes and provide insight into the possible triggers that are most likely the ongoing cause of sinkhole activity in The Villages.

Two homeowners in the Village of Calumet Grove, as well as their neighbors, remain on edge after sinkholes began opening up in February.

A sinkhole in the Village of Calumet Grove.

Joining the discussion will be a geotechnical construction company professional who will detail the most common techniques to stabilize properties after a professional engineer or geologist has been engaged to verify or eliminate sinkhole loss and has made recommendations regarding land and building stabilization.

The conversation will include a brief update on the current status of sinkhole insurance coverage in the state of Florida. Those attending will learn valuable information with respect to sinkhole coverage, the hurdles and the difficulties many property owners confront while attempting to navigate the complicated claims process after a property has been affected by sinkhole activity.

A Q&A session will follow the discussion:

• John Thompson, founder of the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, Good Foundation Florida, Inc., will lead the discussion. Thompson, a long-time Florida homeowner, created the nonprofit to study and advocate for programs on behalf of Floridians and to assist with insurance coverage and claim issues.

• Barry Smith, P.E., is the founder of Pinnacle Engineering, a geotechnical/structural engineering firm located in Tampa. It specializes in sinkhole investigation and repair solutions, as well as having a broad range of experience in the civil engineering and construction industries.

• Ron Broadrick, is president/CEO of Earth Tech, with headquarters in Land O’Lakes. He possesses over 30 years of experience in the geotechnical construction industry, specializing in soil stabilization and foundation repair.