car falling into a sinkhole

A sinkhole is eating this Texas town

A massive sinkhole, first detected in 2008, is threatening to swallow the small Southeast Texas town of Daisetta. The pit is growing again after 15 years of being dormant and stable, putting residents on edge.

Sinkhole first opened up in 2008

In the Liberty County town of Daisetta, located between Beaumont and Houston, a sinkhole opened up in 2008 with a measurement of roughly 20 feet into the ground.

Then the opening kept growing, and in the course of its expansion, the hole swallowed up numerous large objects, which included telephone poles, oil tanks, and vehicles.

The sinkhole eventually expanded into a crater measuring 900 feet wide and 260 feet deep, My San Antonio reported.

Finally, the sinkhole stabilized, becoming dormant for 15 years. Until now.

Enormous sinkhole growing and threatening to swallow a Texas town

Residents had nearly stopped worrying about the massive sinkhole, but it has reopened and is growing again, Liberty County officials confirmed.

Officials first took note of the re-opening on Sunday, April 3, 2023. 

According to Liberty County Fire Marshal Erskin Holcomb, the sinkhole has now stretched by another 150 feet in width and depth, People reported.

Town officials began warning residents about the potential danger the growing sinkhole poses as it creates a threat to personal property, animals, and humans. Many residents are packed and ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

Images captured in an overhead view showed “visible cracks in the earth” with “some tanks, buildings, and other structures” seeming to appear “to be leaning and sliding into the water,” according to a report by KTRK-TV.

Officials say it’s unclear when the growth of the sinkhole might stop.

Making the situation worse, the pit rests only 80 feet away from a major roadway, FM 770, which runs through the main section of Daisetta, Yahoo reports.

Officials have reached out to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for assistance.

“City officials are closely monitoring the situation and will work with state and local authorities to provide updates to the community as the situation progresses,” the city of Daisetta said in a news release.

The unfortunate geology of the town

Sinkholes typically occur in locations where the bedrock beneath the surface of the ground is made of “carbonate rock, limestone, salt beds, or rocks,” according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Unfortunately, Daisetta sits atop a salt dome.

“As the rock dissolves, spaces and caverns develop underground,” a USGS article states.