Nightly News   |  September 21, 2014

Florida sinkhole keeps growing bigger

Sinkholes are becoming common in Florida where sandy soil sits on top of layers of clay and limestone. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>>> in news out of florida had to do with something we are seeing a lot more of lately. that's sinkholes across the state. today another one came to life in a residential neighborhood. our report tonight from nbc's janet shamlian .

>> reporter: hearing strange noises in the night, ivy dupree thought somebody was trying to break in.

>> i heard a banging against the door. i went to my parents. my dad went to check and the whole screen room was going in the sinkhole.

>> reporter: originally between the this home and their neighbor's, the sink hole is growing by the hour.

>> it looks a lot bigger than it did earlier.

>> reporter: it devoured a porch, a pool and a master bedroom . homes have been evacuated.

>> it is still moving.

>> reporter: sandy soil sits atop clay and limestone. when water seeps down it can create a void like an underground balloon full of air. when the earth is too heavy the balloon pops. it can be catastrophic. in march, a 30-foot-wide sinkhole east of tampa swallowed a man in his bedroom. his body was never found. in august, a 60-foot-wide sink hole collapsed part of a vacation resort near disneyworld. another one consumes trees in seconds. this geologist from the university of houston .

>> areas sis acceptable is where we have water wells pumping water out of the ground for industrial, home or business use and irrigation.

>> i think it's livable. i mean, i don't want to live in it anymore.

>> reporter: another florida neighborhood under siege from an assault that takes aim from the ground up. janet shamlian , nbc news, houston.