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Is Florida channeling Henny Youngman? Take our sinkholes, please!

Sat Feb 28th, 2015 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

If the Northeast is going to share its weather with Florida, perhaps it is only fair that we share something with those states. New Jersey, in particular, has been learning about the dangers of sinkholes.

In the past week or two, two sinkholes formed in New Jersey that have officials wondering what the heck is going on. The good news is that no one was hurt — though a snowplow driver was badly shaken by his experience.

He was plowing a residential street with his 20-ton salt truck one morning when the ground opened up. The truck was swallowed, with just a bit of the back end left above ground. The driver was able to escape without injury.

The hole in the surface of the road was just a hint at what was underneath. The road bed had collapsed “like a cavern,” workers said, leaving a good deal of roadway with nothing underneath. It took several hours to remove the truck and to repair the water and sewer lines that were damaged in the accident.

An hour east of that sinkhole and just a day or two later, another sinkhole opened on a stretch of a major thoroughfare. None of the reports mention any damage to vehicles or private property. The road just collapsed — in a spot not far from where another, larger sinkhole appeared in November.

What’s the deal? Are these sinkholes different from the sinkhole that, for example, destroyed a home and killed a man in Seffner two years ago?

We’ll explain in our next post.

Sources:, “N.J. snowplow sinkhole: ‘Surprise’ of tow truck owner’s life,” Emily Cummins, Feb. 18, 2015, “Sinkhole shuts down busy stretch of Newark Avenue in Jersey City,” Summer Dawn Hortillosa, Feb. 23, 2015

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