OCALA, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) –
Deputies say 53 sinkholes were caused by Tropical Storm Debby around Marion County. Now, residents in the Fore Ranch subdivision of Cimarron are worried about another growing sinkhole. One family is moving and many others are on edge.
“Worried, very scared,” said Kim Hagen who isn’t happy about Debby’s rains saturating the ground right across the street from her Cimarron house. “Don’t know what’s going to happen to my house, don’t know what’s going to happen to my neighbor’s house. I don’t know what’s going to happen to your car parked out into the street.”
It’s not the first time neighbors have had to deal with sinkholes here. Crews are trying to fix one a few blocks over in Wynchase. It was large enough to fit two dump trucks inside, causing families to evacuate. They say it’s an ongoing problem. Kim says, “We’re moving. The sinkhole that sucked the street in was one of our deciding reasons, yes.”
Residents say they noticed the sinkhole on Monday and it started to grow quickly. Right now it’s 8 feet deep and 40 feet wide.
Judge Cochran of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office says, “That system saturated the ground a little more. Fifty-three sinkholes with in a span of 4 days, I think is a lot.”
Deputies are concerned about the safety of people who live near the sinkholes. “Give us a call, we’ll get there secure the location and at that point will work with the Marion County government.”
Kim says, “This time I don’t know what it’s going to cost us and I’m very worried, when they send us a $1,000 bill, $500 bill we can’t afford that expense.”
She told us that neighbors are already responsible for paying a $200,00 dollar bill to fix a sinkhole from last year. She thinks someone needs to be held responsible. “I understand this is full of caverns, all of Marion County is, however, I don’t know what core samples they did to research that. There’s a lot of homeowners that are having a lot of problems. Mysterious leaks in their homes. I’m very discouraged, very upset.”
Insurance experts say that if sinkholes keep popping up in a certain area, the builder could be held liable if the land was not tested properly in the first place.