Sinkhole opens up in Ocala; Truck teeters on edge

by Michael Mosher on June 26, 2012

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OCALA, Fla. — 

Some of the worst damage caused by Tropical Storm Debby that WFTV found on Monday was in the city of Ocala.

A United Van Lines truck was teetering on the edge of the hole near Southwest 52nd Terrace and Southwest 42nd Street.

Reporter Berndt Petersen received information on a large sinkhole that opened up near a condominium complex and caused an evacuation to part of the building.

Police said they moved some of the residents out and they brought the bulldozers in.

Crews hauled in huge earth movers to fill the giant sinkhole that opened in Ocala’s Fore Ranch subdivision.

“My friend sent a text and said they had seen it, and people were starting to evacuate,” said Brittany Laxton, Fore Ranch resident. 

Residents in the condos nearest to the 100-foot-long hole were ordered to leave.

Debby’s heavy rains also washed out 250 feet of retention wall from the new $8 million Sharpes Ferry Bridge on County Road 314.

“The old bridge worked.  You have to slow down.  It saves lives.  This thing is a joke,” said Marion County resident Jesse Price.

In Ocala, workers distributed hundreds of sandbags at Tuscawilla Park.

Sharon Cook said her pool is a mess.

“It’s full of water and it’s leaking out, and it’s leaking out toward the house,” said Cook.

There was flooding in the Heritage Hills neighborhood, and 18th Avenue was under nearly two-feet of water. 

Shirley Fielitz said she hopes the pumps will get rid of it.

“I hope so, because I don’t drive.  But I have people pick me up, and I have two doctor’s appointments next week,” said Fielitz.

Fore Ranch residents said they remember the last time a big hole opened there, just over a year ago.

“I’ve been told by our landlord it was possible, and they were trying to make sure it wasn’t happening, and it did. And it’s a little scary to think that,” said Laxton.    

Some smaller holes have also opened out there, and several Ocala streets had to be closed Monday because of flooding.

 

Full article…here

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