Gainesville Sinkholes – What You Should Know Before Moving to Gainesville, FL
Gainesville is the largest city in Alachua County in Florida, and the largest city in the North Central region of the state. Its location offers residents and visitors easy access to the East Coast and Southeast markets.
When in Gainesville, you’ll find the University of Florida, the fifth-largest university campus in the US in terms of enrolment. It plays a huge role in the economy of the city, contributing almost $9 billion every year and opens hundreds of thousands of jobs for the community. There’s likewise the additional income from athletic events such as the SEC football games. It also houses Santa Fe College. The Alachua County Public Schools has around 75 different institutions, the majority of which are located in Gainesville. This city is also home to two of the best medical centers in Florida. These are the University of Florida Health and North Florida Regional Medical Center, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Gainesville offers an extensive road network. The city is served by Interstate 75 and State routes 20, 24, and 26. With US 441 and US 301, Gainesville has direct routes to Ocala, Orlando, and Jacksonville.
Majority of African-Americans in the city live in the east side of Gainesville, while the population of the west side is composed of students and other residents.
Gainesville has six state parks. One of these is the Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park. One of its many features is the Devil’s Millhopper, a limestone sinkhole that has a depth of 120 feet. You need to take a wooden boardwalk with 212 steps to go down and reach the bottom of the sinkhole. You can also take the half-mile nature trail that surrounds the top part of the sinkhole. Residents and visitors likewise flock to picnic areas in Gainesville. They also enjoy biking along Millhopper Road.
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As for the climate, Gainesville experiences many fluctuations in temperature compared to other areas in Florida. Expect high humidity and thunderstorms during the summer months. But from October to May, temperatures in the city can go below the freezing point. Because of the changes in temperature and moisture imbalance, the soil tends to pull away from the foundation which leads to settlement. When this happens, cracks can appear in the structure of homes.
In 2007, National Geographic Adventure named Gainesville as one of the best places to live and play in the country. That same year, Cities Ranked and Rated ranked Gainesville as the no. 1 place to live in North America. Also, in 2013, Gainesville was one of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire according to Forbes, thanks to the numerous activities that you can do, the climate, as well as the low cost of living.
If you want to move to Gainesville, one of the things that you should look into is the sinkhole situation in the area. Here are some of the things that you need to know:
Historical Sinkhole Situation in Gainesville
Residents in Gainesville had seen sinkholes throughout the years. Here are some of the sinkhole incidents in the past:
May 2017 – Due to a water line break, a sinkhole opened at Newberry Road near Northwest 266th Street.
July 2017 – A small sinkhole opened at the intersection of South Main and SE/SW 16th Ave, prompting the officials to create a detour around the area. Both the southbound and eastbound lanes were affected.
Planning to move to Gainesville, Florida? One of the things that you need to be aware of is the likelihood of sinkholes. Just like in many other parts of the state, sinkholes can be a common occurrence for residents in Gainesville. The reasons vary, but the main culprit is that the entire state’s soil is limestone. It is porous so the acid in the rainwater washes the limestone as it runs through it. Because of this, cavities form. A sinkhole opens when the top layer of the soil falls into the holes.
No one and no device can anticipate when and where a sinkhole will appear, but knowing the sinkhole situation in the area will enable you to take the necessary measures to protect you and your family. For instance, it will help you decide if you need to get sinkhole insurance or not. There may also be signs that you can look for that can result in the formation of a sinkhole in your property. Some of these signs include trees or fences that are leaning, cracks on the windows and/or doors, depressions in your backyard or around your house, or large cracks on driveways and floors.
If you want to know more about the sinkholes in your area, check out sinkholemaps.com, an online resource of sinkhole information in many areas in Florida. You can search sinkhole-related incidents in your area for your peace of mind.