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Rain helps to fill in sinkhole in Dunedin

11:48 PM, Nov 16, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Sinkhole opens up near Dunedin home

Video: Rain helps to fill sinkhole in Dunedin


Dunedin, Florida -- Crews have demolished the second house affected by the 56-foot deep and 96-feet across sinkhole in Dunedin.

City workers are filling the sinkhole with dirt, thousands of cubic yards of dirt. Dunedin City Engineer Tom Burke said that much dirt will take hundreds of truck loads, and it is estimated that the hole will be completely filled by Monday or midweek at the latest. 

"We are hoping to get 250-300 truck loads in (Saturday), and a comparable number tomorrow," said Burke.

Burke has been working for the city for about 10 years and said this is the largest sinkhole he has ever seen. Other engineers who have been there for 30 years have also never seen one this big, he added.

"I thought, 'Holy smokes,' when I first saw it, but knew we had to get to work right away."

Although many neighbors feared rain would slow the workers down, the rain and damp air actually kept the dirt from flying away.

"The rain actually helps," said Burke. "It keeps the dust down. If this was a hot and dry day, we would have a major dust operation."

It rained for several hours throughout the morning when workers were tearing down the second home while simultaneously filling the hole.

Neighbors stopped by to check on the progress, while others who live right across from the sinkhole just stepped outside to walk their dogs and not look at it, because they fear they could be next.

"The whole thing is sad," said Christopher McRae, who just moved in across the street from the sinkhole one month ago. "Seeing people displaced from their homes and watching their belongings fall into a hole and succumb to just a big crane, it's sad."

"You don't realize how dangerous this is, how tragic it can be until you see a hole of this size. It's as big as a whole house," said Maria Bengono, who lives a couple minutes away but stopped by to see it after going through her own sinkhole issues in 2006.

"Our foundation was cracking and we had to file a claim and have the insurance take care of it," said Bengono.

Tom Burke said the city is set to put together a donation center on its website for the families that have been displaced.

The other five homes in the area that have been condemned are only being condemned for control access, said Burke. 

"They are not set to be demolished," said Burke.

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