A road behind a Citrus County shopping center is shut down after severe weather caused a drainage pipe to collapse, creating a 20-foot hole.
Heavy rains were too powerful for the aging drainage system behind the Inverness Regional Shopping Center, located along U.S. 41.
Nearby businesses are calling for a fix, wanting the area cleaned up and to prevent the hole from expanding.
“It’s just going to get bigger and bigger,” said shopper Justin Riley. “With it becoming raining season, it’s going to get bigger.”
Scott Allen saw multiple posts on Facebook about the hole.
Now sitting at 20-feet wide and about 25-feet deep, he’s concerned the hole won’t be repaired before the nearby middle school resumes classes next month.
“It’s dangerous and needs to be fixed,” said Allen. “All these kids walk to school and if any of them hop the fence and cut through to make it quicker, somebody could fall in the hole and get hurt.”
The city put up a perimeter fence as a safety precaution after the hole opened up.
A city official told ABC Action News that the area is privately-owned by Collier’s International Real Estate.
ABC Action News made repeated attempts to contact the company and find out how long it will take to have a permanent fix, but have yet to hear back.
Meantime, Brian Townsend, who works next door at Hungry Howie’s Pizza, says he will be keeping a close watch for future erosion.
“There’s still one crack left remaining,” said Townsend. "We’re curious - is it going to wash out into both properties, the adjacent properties.”