What should you do if your house is on a sinkhole?


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – If you found out your house is sitting on top of a sinkhole what would you do?

Dr. Doug Gouzie, Missouri State University’s geology professor, who specializes in land formations.

He recently conducted a study called “Predicting Future Disasters.”

Gouzie says all of southwest Missouri has a lot of sinkholes and currently there are about 1,400 known sinkholes in Greene County.

About 60 percent of land underneath Missouri is limestone and it dissolves easily in water.

Usually, water seeps through a crack somewhere which starts getting more water into the limestone.

“When it gets through the crack, it will dissolve, widen out, until eventually maybe hit a cave or something like that, I call them sometimes microcaves, things just big enough for a salamander, some critter to go through,” Gouzie said. “And the water will just keep widening that up, and as it does that, it also washes the soil in.”

And if you find out there is a sinkhole starting to form the conditions must already exist underneath the ground.

The weight of the structure does not play a role in the creation of a sinkhole.

Gouzie explains what to do if you do find a sinkhole starting to form under your house.

“If that’s happening underneath your land, you’ll just keep seeing the soil sink and sink and sink, and eventually you might want to find a way to divert the rainwater from draining in there,” Gouzie said. “And so that helps most people.”

If you want to read Gouzie’s entire study click here.

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