Crews demolishing Dunedin homes ahead of filling in sinkhole

November 15, 2013 

A day after a sinkhole opened up in a Dunedin neighborhood and condemned two homes, crews demolished the homes in order to fill up the sinkhole with dirt.

Crews first had to demolish the two homes, which stated just after 9 a.m. Familiy members watched from the street as the heavy equipment tore through their homes.

Engineers worked overnight to stabilize the hole, located in the 1000 block of Robmar Road. The hole expanded to 90 feet in diameter and about 75 feet deep.

On Friday, crews removed some debris from the two houses before demolishing them. Officials said the debris will be moved to another location where the homeowners may be able to recover some items. Excavation crews with heavy equipment shored up the ground while dump trucks began bringing dirt to the scene to fill in the hole. The dump trucks will bring about 600 loads of dirt to the scene to pour into the hole.

Workers may have to stop if the weather threatens. Rain chances later today are about 60 percent, according to Bay News 9 Meteorologist Juli Marquez.

Early Thursday, homeowner Michael Dupre said he heard what sounded like a sledgehammer pounding on a wall. By the time he got out of bed and looked out a window, a backroom of his home was collapsing into the earth.

As the day went on, most his home was swallowed by the sinkhole and his home and a neighboring home were condemned. The crater continued to grow throughout the day and into the evening, consuming more of Dupre's home.

"There was a sinkhole before and we knew there was sinkhole activity," Dupre said. "After the Seffner sinkhole, we were scared. We've been dealing with our insurance company and finally two days ago, they started working on our house. Now it looks like our home is gone."

Seven homes were evacuated Thursday during the ordeal. There were no injuries.

Sinkholes are common in Florida because the peninsula is made up of porous carbonate rocks such as limestone that store and help move water underground. Over time, the rocks can dissolve from an acid created from oxygen in water, creating a void under the limestone roof. When dirt, clay or sand gets too heavy for the limestone roof, it can collapse, creating a sinkhole.

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