Sinkhole in The Villages reopens, grows larger

By Daniel Dahm, Managing Editor of ClickOrlando.com, ddahm@clickorlando.com
Published On: Apr 23 2014 08:27:02 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 24 2014 05:52:37 AM EDT

Local 6's Kristin Giannas reports on a sinkhole reopening in Sumter County.

THE VILLAGES, Fla. -

Emergency officials were called back to a sinkhole near two homes in The Villages after it reopened.

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Sumter County Emergency Management and The Villages firefighters returned Wednesday to the sinkhole, which first opened Saturday near two homes on Chalmer Terrace.

The sinkhole grew to 65 feet wide and 70 feet deep after Helicon Property Restoration said on Sunday that the hole had stabilized and it was completely filled.

David Casto, of Sumter County Emergency Management, said the sinkhole "progressed" overnight, adding that a cement plug dipped lower into the ground.

A sinkhole repair crew was dispatched, Casto said, and a large area was taped off to keep onlookers away from the area.

Margaret Velocci lives across the street from the sinkhole, and says her husband saw that it reopened early this morning, and called the fire department.

"My husband goes, gets the newspaper this morning, and boom, there we go again," she said.

About 20 truck loads of dirt filled the hole, and officials say they will monitor the hole for the next two days before filling it with a cement/dirt mixture.

Bill Newkirk lives behind the sinkhole and tells Local 6 that he'll be looking out for warning signs of sinkhole activity under his house.

"As long as everything looks normal, tiles are normal, walls are normal, yard is normal, I'm not worried about it," he said.

Both homes near the sinkhole are unoccupied. Rick Kay, project manager with Helicon Sinkhole Repair, told Local 6 the owners of one home were in Alabama and the other was a rental property, with the tenants scheduled to move out last Saturday.

Watch Local 6 News and stay with ClickOrlando.com for more on this story.

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