How much of a risk do sink holes pose in central North Carolina? Dr. Kenneth Taylor, with the North Carolina Geological Survey, said they don't happen often, but are not unheard of.
"For central North Carolina, having the ground open up beneath your feet is incredibly rare," Taylor said.
Raleigh has seen two examples of sinkholes since the start of 2010. That March, a water main break on Millbrook Road caused a sink hole that took down a city bus. That September, another water main break opened a sink hole on Wade Ave.
"Where you have, for example, a culvert, a pipe, a conduit for carrying water underneath a road and the pipe collapses," Taylor said.
When that pipe collapses, the ground above it falls into the pipe, taking the road with it. This type of sink hole is the most common in North Carolina.
Larger sink holes, like the one in Florida, is called an over-collapse sink hole. Areas with an abundance of limestone, like the coast of North Carolina, sees these more often. Limestone is easily broken down by moving water.
Water moving in the ground from rain fall or underground rivers slowly erodes limestone, exposing caverns beneath.
"What happens is limestone is melted, it melts to the bottom," Taylor said. "And when that little cap of rock fails above it, it creates a sinkhole."
Even in limestones areas along the North Carolina coast see pipe collapses as the main cause of sink holes.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation often relies on drivers for help with sink holes.
"If they've been traveling along a road for some time and hey there's a dip there now, that may be a concern," said Steve Abott, a communications officer with the DOT. "And if they see something, we'd appreciate them calling and letting us know, and we will go out and look at it."
Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:43:09 GMT
A high school senior from Raleigh is recovering after an apparent shark bite while on vacation at the beach in Brunswick County.According to police, the incident happened on Sunday between 11th and 12th
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