WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas -- On Monday, structural engineers and biologists examined the cave that collapsed in a Williamson County neighborhood last week.
"They are looking at the cave ceiling just to determine, if it looks like the cave ceiling is still intact or if they have any cracks,” said Connie Odom with the Williamson County Public Affairs Office.
The cave's roof collapsed last week in the Brushy Creek neighborhood. Structural engineers and biologists went into the cave Monday morning for a second time, examining every square inch of the hidden cave. They found the cave was even bigger than they originally thought, measuring in at 200 feet wide, and 22 feet deep.
Once the consultants have taken down all the data they need, crews can figure out how much weight the cave's roof, or the street, can safely hold. It may take weeks before neighbors get any new details.
"That should give us more information that we can share with them as far as where their houses in comparison to the cave. How deep is the caves ceiling in comparison to the land that their home is sitting on,” said Odom.
Williamson County has about 700 known, named caves, ranging from small to even bigger than the recently discovered chamber. The County's Conservation Foundation protects endangered species. That, along with their permit with Texas Parks and Wildlife, will allow this process to move much quicker.
"We have a methodology on dealing with this type situation particularly in regards to endangered species. We can deal with those issues in about 30 to 60 days rather than dealing with the federal government,” said Gary Boyd with the Williams County Conservation Foundation.
For now, the county is focusing first on safety and structural issues. Eventually, scientists will be able to determine the species living inside the cave.