NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – Depression in New Port Richey continues to rise rapidly, according to Pasco County Emergency Management.
The hole opened at a depth of a few meters on Monday, but has grown to a depth of more than 35 feet outside the Varsity Club Sports Bar.
Emergency management officials told ABC Action News that the hole increased ten feet between Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The speed at which it opens and the speed at which it is still spreading makes it unusual,” said Andrew Fossa, director of emergency management. “We’re out here three times a day and three times at night.”
It is located on private property along Little Road and Spring Haven Boulevard.
The crews have closed Spring Haven Boulevard and created an alternate route for residents of the area.
On Wednesday, Pasco County officials forced the Varsity Club Sports Bar to temporarily close and forced more than 40 employees off work. The sports bar had only recently reopened at full capacity since the coronavirus pandemic began.
“They have a lot of good patrons coming in and enjoying the restaurant. I think they’ll make it,” said Chris Kelly, who showed up for dinner with his daughter and found the sports bar closed.
That has not yet been declared a sinkhole, but it doubled within a few hours overnight on Tuesday.
County teams put up a fence around the Depression Wednesday night to protect the public.
“The security fence is being erected out of caution,” said Fossa. “Stay away from here. It’s a very unsafe place right now. “
The Depression is on private property owned by a nearby HOA. ABC Action News learned that the HOA and the owner of the Varsity Club Sports Bar have hired an engineering firm.
According to Fossa, engineers will conduct an assessment Thursday morning and find a solution to the depression.