Ocala is the largest city of Marion County at the northern region of Florida. It is called the Horse Capital of the World, as it is home to more than 600 Thoroughbred farms as well as the Florida Horse Park that serves as the official training site for the US Equestrian team.
Ocala used to be home to many Native American settlers. Its name was derived from the word “Ocali”, which means “big hammock” in the native language of the Timucuan Tribe.
Many channels of water surround Ocala. These include the Ocklawaha River that spans 110 miles. It runs through northern Florida up to the St. Johns River. Because of its geography, Ocala offers a wide range of water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and canoeing that are ideal for families. Residents also enjoy hiking, biking, and camping. One of the tourist attractions in Ocala is the Silver Springs State Park that has 15 miles of trails, luxury cabins, and a full facility campground. For those who enjoy arts and culture, dining out, and shopping, Ocala has an array of establishments for you.
There are two seasons in Ocala. From June to September, expect thunderstorms since the city’s cloud-to-ground ratio for every square mile is higher than any other area in the world. The dry season starts in October and ends in May.
When it comes to education, Ocala has different schools and colleges that cater to students of all ages. Adult classes and technical courses are likewise available.
As for healthcare, Ocala is home of several establishments that are approved cancer center and in-patient joint care. There’s also a hospital that specializes in preventive medicine, as well as family and general medicine.
Ocala has plenty of land for residential use, and with the wide range of home prices available, many can afford to buy properties in this city. Some of the best places to buy property include Silver Springs, Belleview, Summerfield, Dunnellon, and Lake Weir. There are several residential communities that are ideal for those who are in retirement, each with various amenities that are geared for all kinds of families.
If you want to move to Ocala, 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 Ocala
Over the last several years, residents in Ocala had seen sinkholes of different sizes. Here are some of the sinkhole incidents in the past:
- June 2012 – A large sinkhole, spanning 100 feet, opened at the edge of a retention pond in the Fore Ranch Subdivision off State Road 200, forcing the evacuation of a townhome building.
- August 2013 – A sinkhole drained or swallowed a lake at Woodland Villages.
- December 2015 – A sinkhole that was 20 feet x 30 feet opened at 83rd Avenue in the Oak Run neighborhood, forcing residents of several homes to evacuate.
- August 2016 – Five sinkholes opened at the road in southeast Ocala. One of the holes was 30 feet deep.
- September 2016 – A sinkhole appeared in front of Liberty Middle School, affecting about 15 feet of the sidewalk.
- June 2017 – A sinkhole swallowed a car near the intersection of Southwest 27th Avenue and State Road 200 at the Gateway Plaza. The hole measured 20 feet by 20 feet. It was likely caused by flooding and it damaged a gas line, forcing affected business to evacuate temporarily.
- June 2017 – A sinkhole with a depth of 30 feet opened under a house in the Village of Liberty Park in The Villages, forcing the 77-year old woman to evacuate her home.
- September 2017 – A sinkhole opened in The Villages during Hurricane Irma. Four homes were affected.
- September 2017 – A sinkhole, with a depth of 15 feet and width of 10 feet, opened on a busy roadway of North U.S. 441 at Northwest 148th Street.
- October 2017 – A sinkhole opened at the intersection of Rolling Greens Drive and Peebles Beach Road. The hole was 25 feet long and 15 feet deep.
Current Sinkhole Situation in Ocala
Ocala has seen several sinkholes of different sizes in the last few months. Here are some of the reported sinkhole incidents:
- February 2018 – A sinkhole opened under a dump truck on Southeast 25th Avenue at Southeast 80th Street. It was reported that the hole was about six feet deep.
- April 2018 – At least eight sinkholes opened at the Wynchase Townhomes complex on Southwest 42nd Place. Some of the holes are reported to be 15 to 25 feet wide.
- May 2018 – Several sinkholes appeared at a designated retention area that is adjacent to the parking lot in Forest High School. The holes had a width of 15 to 20 feet.
- May 2018 – About 12 sinkholes appeared near a retention lake in Ocala, threatening the houses in the area.
If you are planning to move in Ocala, it is important to be aware of the sinkhole situation in the area. Sinkholes appear more frequently in Florida than any other state in the country. Because of the state’s porous ground that is likely to cause an occasional collapse, sinkholes can open from time to time. While there’s no way to anticipate when and where a sinkhole will occur, it pays to know the area so you can make the necessary measures to protect your family and your property. This knowledge will come in handy when deciding to get sinkhole insurance or not, for instance. No one can predict the appearance of sinkholes, but you can do some things to help protect your family and possessions.
If you want to know more about the sinkholes in your area, check out sinkholemaps.com, an online resource for sinkhole information of many areas in Florida. You can search sinkhole-related incidents in your area for your peace of mind.