A massive sinkhole has destroyed a backyard and wrecked a swimming pool behind a Florida home just a day after the owner celebrated her birthday with a pool party.
Suzie Blumenauar returned to her house on Roxbury Road in Winter Park, Florida on Monday evening following a birthday dinner to discover her backyard was unrecognizable.
A huge sinkhole measuring at least 40 feet by 50 feet and 30 feet deep had taken over her garden, draining the water from the pool and leaving it buckled and cracked.
‘They came back from dinner and half the backyard was gone,’ Battalion Chief Billy Richardson told the Orlando Sentinel.
Blumenauar, who has lived at the home for 33 years, said she did not know what to think when she saw the scene.
By 10.30pm, the edge of the hole was just 20 feet from the back door of her home.
Fire crews said the sinkhole has extended into neighbors’ yards but so far only Blumenauar’s home is in danger. She stayed with a friend on Monday night.
Neighbor James Russo said that the sinkhole left him concerned for his family: ‘The thought of that happening, if something opens up, it makes me nervous.’
Police patrolled the area on Monday night to keep an eye on the sinkhole.
Authorities have not determined a cause for the sinkhole but neighbors speculated that it could have been caused by drilling for a well nearby on Lake Killarney.
The Orange County Division of Building Safety is assessing the sinkhole on Tuesday morning.
Sinkholes are common in central Florida. In Winter Park, a massive 350 feet wide and 75 feet deep sinkhole swallowed a three-bedroom house in 1981.
It also claimed part of the city’s swimming pool and at least five Porsches from a German car business. Only a few of the cars could be retrieved.
In March, a sinkhole in Tampa swallowed a bedroom and Jeff Bush, who was sleeping inside. His body has never been found.