A Florida sinkhole forced several homeowners outside Tampa to evacuate on Saturday after the road began cracking, and soon collapsed into a massive hole that swallowed front yards and driveways.
"It's devastating; you don't expect it," local resident Linda Fisher told ABC affiliate WVEC
when she returned to her Spring Hill home on Sunday to gather a few belongings. Several local news outlets posted pictures of the devastation on Twitter once daylight broke and the sinkhole had seemed to finish collapsing.
Residents including Fisher report that the sinkhole was silent as it yawned open, growing from 25 to 40 in a matter of minutes. It grew until it had subsumed the width of the street and part of her front yard.
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"Don't go to the front of the house — it's not safe," she warned reporters on the scene.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office didn't report any injuries, and the hole doesn't appear to have swallowed any cars or structures beyond the asphalt, sidewalks, and driveway. The department said that they helped evacuate several homes, and secure the area with temporary fencing.
"All I saw was a big cloud of dust shoot up from the ground and I saw a big hole open up inside and no, not a sound came out," eyewitness Sam Haneiwich told The Weather Network
. "No, nothing came out of it."
One of Fisher's neighbors who lives diagonally across the street, Peggy Helmick, said she had dropped her sinkhole insurance after it became too expensive. She now worries the value of her house will plummet.
Fisher's next door neighbor, Pepper Daniels, 76, told the Tampa Bay Times
she's not too worried about her property because local authorities told her the roots of the large oak tree in her front yard would likely hold the ground in place.
County officials have called engineers to the scene to assess the damage and begin working on a solution for patching the hole. Initial reports suggest it might be temporarily filled in with sand.
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