Orange County Sinkhole Prompts Evacuations, No Injuries

A new Orange County sinkhole has consumed a pool and prompted evacuation from a home in Winter Park, Florida.

The Orange County sinkhole appeared while the homeowners at 2300 Roxbury Road were out to dinner, Orange County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Billy Richardson told the Orlando Sentinel.

The Fire Rescue team was dispatched at about 8:30 pm, arriving to discover the new Orange County sinkhole measuring at about 40 to 50 feet wide and 30 to 40 feet deep.

According to Richardson, the residents somewhat scarily had a pool party the day before the sinkhole suddenly appeared and engulfed the pool, and he explains:

“They came back from dinner and half the backyard was gone.”

WFTV identifies the homeowner as Susie Blumenauer, quoting her as she explains discovering that a sinkhole had suddenly taken over her backyard.

Blumenaeur says that she was speaking to a friend on the phone when she spied the scary development, and authorities say the depression is now only 20 feet from the home’s back door:

“I said, ‘Karen, I have a sinkhole in the back yard.’ … I think I might be dreaming. I didn’t know what to think, [and] then I realized there’s a hole in the ground.”

Despite the proximity of the Orange County sinkhole to the residence itself, the residents were not subject to a mandatory evacuation.

Blumenthal decided to stay with a friend while the situation is assessed. Neighbors say the Orange County sinkhole is threatening nearby residents, and one, James Russo, told 13 News:

“It definitely concerns me, but there is not much I can do until someone knocks on my door and lets me know ‘hey, it might not be safe. You might want to evacuate.’ I hope it doesn’t come, but you never know. I’ve got my fingers crossed.”

Earlier this year, a sinkhole in Seffner, Florida appeared in early March, claiming the life of a man in his thirties and condemning the family’s home.

Before the Orange County sinkhole appeared, neighbors say “drilling and construction work in the area” may have caused the instability.