Officials fear heavy rain could make sinkhole in Dunedin worse

DUNEDIN, Fla. - "I'm very very scared right now," said 11-year-old Ronan Tegerdine.

In just 24 hours, the view from his Dunedin house has completely changed. On Thursday, Ronan's next door neighbor's home was swallowed up by a sinkhole. On Friday, it was completely demolished.

City crews worked throughout the day salvaging what they could and destroying the rest. Dirt was brought in by the truckload.

The Dunedin Fire Chief estimates it will take about 400 truckloads of dirt to fill in the 90' x 56' sinkhole on Robmar Road. At this point, the biggest potential obstacle remains the weather.

"From everything we've understood, the hole could open further up with a heavy downpour of rain," said Dunedin Fire Chief Jeff Parks. "It could definitely set us back."

More than a handful of families, including the Tegerdines', are still out of their homes. But on Friday, Ronan's father Matthew noticed something that could turn their temporary evacuation into a permanent one.

"I've now got some thin cracks on the side of my house," Tegerdine said.

His wife is too scared to return.

"She came and said to me I want out. I don't ever want to go back in that house again," Tegerdine said.

But as fear spread through the neighborhood, so did the good deeds. Shawn Rudock, a neighbor, helped collect donations for the Dunedin sinkhole victims at www.dunedinfoundation.org. Rudock also presented the families of the two condemned homes with gift cards of $500 each.

"It takes a community to help raise and take care of a community," Rudock said. "I would hope somebody would do it for my family."

On Saturday, the second home that was partially swallowed by the sinkhole is scheduled to be demolished. Crews are expected to work at the site through the weekend and potentially into the early part of next week.

They are monitoring the radar closely.
 

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