Crews race against the clock to fill Dunedin sinkhole

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Crews continue to demolish two homes in Dunedin after a sinkhole opened up Thursday morning.

As part process, crews are using an excavator to pull portions of the home to safer ground and gathered any salvageable belongings. ( see video in player above).

Officials say it will take 12,000 cubic yards -- 600 dump trucks -- to fill the hole once the homes are leveled.

Crews will work as long as there is daylight, then continue the process on Saturday.

Meanwhile, cracks have appeared in a total of five homes in the neighborhood.

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A Dunedin neighborhood remains on edge after a large sinkhole opened up early Thursday morning.

Portions of two homes continue to collapse into the massive hole near 1112 Robmar Road, just north of downtown Dunedin.  Both homes have been condemned.

According to the latest estimates by experts at the scene, the sinkhole is 90 feet wide by 56 feet deep.

The sinkhole opened up under part of Michael and Janie Dupre's home.

"Over and over again you just keep hearing, ‘boom, boom,'' said Jaine.

Early this morning, the Dupre's 13-year-old daughter, Ivy, alerted the family to the sinkhole danger.

"It started getting really loud and I really thought someone was trying to break in," she said.

"I compared it to someone taking a sledge hammer trying to take a huge sledge hammer and knock it against walls.  It's a cracking, banging sound," recalled Michael Dupre.

Six other homes have been evacuated as a precaution and Duke Energy has shut down power to the area.

Evacuated for the night, Matthew Tegerdine grabbed what he could. He filled up a single suitcase with clothes for his wife and his 11-year-old son.

"We're all safe, nobody got hurt. But now it's will they ever go to sleep in there? Will they even be able to walk inside and be able to go to bed? I don't know," Tegerdine said. 

From the vantage point of Action Air 1, a neighbor's boat could be seen teetering on the edge of the hole.  It was later pulled to safety.

"I wasn't prepared for this. I probably wasn't prepared for a lot of things, but a sinkhole in the backyard I wasn't," said neighbor Wayne Erby.

Erby's wife woke him up at 6:00 a.m. She too was hearing loud noises behind their home.  They fell back asleep, only to be woken up by a firefighter telling them to pack up and evacuate.

Families living on nearby Mary Jane Lane were also told to get out. 

Pat Simon and her husband were allowed back into their home briefly this morning to grab medications, but left everything else behind because of the danger.

"It sucks! What can I say?" said Simon.

No injuries have been reported.

The Red Cross set up a shelter for the displaced families at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church on Michigan Blvd. But at 9 p.m., they closed the shelter down because no one was using it. Red Cross did, however, assist three families with clothing and food. 

Tomorrow crews will begin filling the hole. It's estimated it will take about 12,000 cubic yards of dirt. They are hoping to complete that task before any rain moves into the area, which could potentially exacerbate the problem. 


REPLAY:  House collapses as sinkhole grows - Watch in video player above.

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