Sinkhole opens in Dade City during storm

A large — and growing larger — sinkhole has forced the closure of a Dade City road, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sinkhole on Jessamine Road is 30 feet deep and 30 feet wide. No homes have been impacted, said Melanie Snow, a sheriff’s office spokeswoman.

Jessamine Road is closed from St. Joe Road to James Loop Road, Snow said. Only local traffic is allowed in the area, she said.

The sheriff’s office learned of the sinkhole at around 6 p.m. Thursday when a severe thunderstorm was hitting the area. Flooding from the storm has caused some road closures in Dade City and Wesley Chapel.

Just north of Pasco County, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office asked residents Thursday night not to drive on local roads if possible because of extensive flooding throughout the county. One person tweeted a photo of a Brooksville parking lot that was so flooded the water covered most of a car in the lot.

Several agencies in Hernando County worked together to evacuate people from flooded homes and areas deemed unsafe, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said.

Staff placed barricades to discourage drivers from driving their car into a flooded roadway at roads too flooded to pass and cleared debris left by the storm.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has placed a van on standby to help evacuate more people if needed.

A shelter was opened at First United Methodist Church, 109 S. Broad St., Brooksville, to help people devastated by the flooding.

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