That Sinking Feeling...

Three Orange County housing workers arrived last Tuesday at the home of Tommy and Mae Rose Owens in Winter Park, Fla., a suburb of Orlando, to complete paperwork on the couple's federal loan for home improvement. But the Owenses were not there. Neither were the house and the yard. They had fallen—along with five expensive foreign cars, a truck, a parking lot, part of a four-lane road and much of a municipal swimming pool—into a sinkhole. That geological oddity resulted when underground limestone caverns, which are usually filled and strengthened by water, were gradually drained during a severe drought. The caverns...

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