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70-foot-deep sinkhole opens up in front yard of home


By Dre Bradley and Rebecca Petit

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    HIGHLAND CITY, Florida (WFTS) — A growing sinkhole concerns residents in one Polk County subdivision.

The ground continues to give way nearly 72 hours from when this sinkhole first formed in front of a home on Royal Crest Drive in Highland City.

Officials estimate it’s about 15 feet wide and between 70 to 80 feet deep. The homeowner and his family safely evacuated.

Sharon Stein lives next door. She tells ABC Action News that around 8 a.m. Saturday, she alerted her neighbor about the growing sinkhole in his yard.

“I went across the street with my dog, and when I went down the street, I could see something was wrong over there, and I went and investigated. Apparently, it had just happened because the neighbor had gone through at 7:30 a.m., and he didn’t see anything wrong,” Stein said.

Polk County Emergency Management Director Paul Womble said sinkholes are common in this part of Polk County, which makes Stein and her neighbors uneasy.

“We don’t want it to grow. We don’t want to have to evacuate because this is the only road in and out of the subdivision, so it’s just pretty scary to all of us,” Stein said.

The street is still open as officials say the sinkhole does not pose a threat to the roadway. Polk County Emergency Management will continue to monitor the sinkhole.

“We have a geotechnical engineering firm, so we’re in the process of engaging them. They’ll have to come out and use their technology and capabilities to let us know what is going on underneath the ground,” said Womble.

There is no timeline as to when crews will begin filling the sinkhole because it is still very active.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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