HaPpY BiRtHdAy {{{Patrap}}}!!!!!!

By: Raysfan70 , 12:32 AM GMT on January 13, 2010

Over the last 2 days in West Central Florida we've been dealing with more then just the Cold Artic Weather.

With Freezing tempatures over the last 12 days the local farmers (Strawberry,Oranges,Lemon, and more)
have had to irragate their crops for 6 to 15 hours.

With most of the area's outside of downtown Tampa being on Deep Wells, we've all had the worries over the years from being in a constant drought (12 years over 30 inches
short) of our wells going dry. Now comes the freeze with all the watering to save the crops. This has caused some area wells to run dry. This ts one problem.

Now for our newest problem.
Over the last 2 days we've had 12 sinkholes open. Some are minor, some are major. And we are sure there are more to come. The newest one is starting on one of our Major Interstates. If you live or are familiar with Florida you know Interstate 4 is a major interstate and connects the West Coast to the East Coast. Interstate 4 is now shut down East bound at Branch Forbes do to a possible sink hole. They are out there now testing the area.

I-4 lanes closed in Plant City due to possible sinkhole
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- Two eastbound lanes of Interstate 4 are blocked at Branch Forbes Road in Plant City, with some type of a road problem - possibly a sinkhole.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, there is a "deficiency" in the road that is affecting the left and center lanes.

Officials are waiting for the Florida Department of Transportation to determine exactly what the problem is.

Troopers said they learned about the problem when truckers reported the road was lumpy and they felt their trucks sinking.

There is no actual hole in the area, but ground radar equipment has determined that something is happening about two-and-a-half feet below the road.

More Information

Sinkholes close parts of U.S. 27, CR 630 in Polk Co.
Road closures in Plant City

Engineers are going to drill a hole in the road so they can take a sample. They said they expect the lanes will be closed for at least another three to four hours.

Hillsborough and Polk counties have been plagued with sinkhole activity the past few days.

The first sinkhole was discovered Monday night near U.S. 27 in Lake Wales. Officials said the sinkhole is 40 feet by 30 feet, and is already two feet deep.

A second sinkhole appeared about a mile south an hour after the first one was discovered.

Another sinkhole opened up behind a house on County Road 630 in Frostproof. The sinkhole swallowed a shed and forced evacuations.

Seven possible sinkholes have appeared in the Plant City area during the past few days. County crews are testing locations and have closed sections of roads as necessary.

Sinkholes can happen when groundwater is pulled quickly from the ground. They mostly show up in karst terrain, which is characterized by the presence of underground cavities in limestone bedrock, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

When the water is removed from the ground, the surface collapses onto the now-empty underground cavities.

Read more about sinkholes
The extent of the damage and the repair cost won't be known until officials can assess the sinkholes after the ground has settled.

"Let's all hope for some good rain this weekend."

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.