Friday, June 16, 2006

Florida Life

Sinkhole Suspected In Disappearing Lake

Residents say the private lake dropped several feet this week. Late Wednesday, it receded at least 20-feet from the shoreline, destroying docks and gazebos and breaking apart one home. The South Florida Water Management District believes a sinkhole opened up at the south end of the lake.

Hey, it happens down here. I remember as a kid reading a fishing magazine that described Lake Jackson in northern Florida. The fishing was fantastic but the lake would go through cycles and once in a while sinkholes would open up and swallow the lake (and everything in it). Here's a description:

Lake Jackson is known nationally as a premiere bass fishing lake. And over the years, aquatic weed and water quality concerns in the lake have been the subject of countless homeowners' meetings and of primary interest to lake management personnel. However, its bass reputation and aquatic weed problems became much less consequential on September 16, 1999 when a sink hole suddenly drained more than half the lake of every last gallon of water, not to mention every last fish and alligator. It is now possible to walk from shore to shore--but steer clear of the sink hole.

Jess Van Dyke, long-time regional biologist with the Bureau of Invasive Plant Management (Florida Department of Environmental Protection) was there when it happened. "It was spectacular: animals trying to scramble out; a whirlpool of gators, birds and bass went down the hole," said Van Dyke. Lake Jackson is one of Florida's disappearing lakes, lakes with sinkholes that are known to drain periodically. Lake Jackson, for example, has drained 4 times previously in the 20th century, in 1907, 1933, 1957, 1982 and now in 1999.

There are some incredible photos on that page of the sinkhole.

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