LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - Late Saturday, families were allowed back into 4 evacuated homes after a sinkhole swallowed 2 homes on Friday morning. That leaves 5 homes remaining evacuated and two homes destroyed as of Saturday.
ABC Action News is learning it could take several months to clean up and fix the damage.
Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the 225 to 230 feet wide and 50 feet deep sinkhole swallowed two homes. The hole started at just the size of a small swimming pool but over a few hours the ground kept crumbling and it's size grew dramatically.
The good news is for several hours the sinkhole hasn’t moved and authorities are hopeful it’ll stay the same size. All of this bringing a sigh of relief to the family living in a third home right on the edge of the sinkhole.
It is a loud wake up call the Doohen family wasn’t expecting nor welcoming Friday morning.
“Today was just kind of wake up and open the door and 'Ok it’s not a dream,'” said Terence Doohen, the homeowner.
Reality is sinking in just like the ground in front of his home.
“Something just didn’t look right, it looked out of place," said Doohen of his neighbor's house just moments before the ground started crumbling.
“You could see cracks starting to form in the street.” But when the cracks got up to his drive way his family left.
They got a chance to grab what they left behind. Deputies led them back inside their home to recover what others never got a chance to save.
“Everything is gone," he said of his neighbors' belongings, "I mean everything. Diamond rings, pictures, frames, wedding pictures."
“It’s hard to be upset, at little things. Gives you a new perspective on life in general," said Doohen.
The family is safe and staying at a neighbor’s house. Nine homes are covered with orange posts marking them “unsafe.” We're told it could take a minimum of week for those closest to the sinkhole be able to return, and a few days for those in the outer perimeter to be allowed back in.