The Land O' Lakes sinkhole that first opened weeks ago has grown by another 30 feet. Now, three more homes are condemned bringing the total number of condemned homes to seven and even more evacuated.
Two of the homes were condemned over the weekend, the third was condemned on Monday morning.
"We went to Georgia to get away from this. Went to my son’s house,” said Don Benschoter who just got back Sunday night, the same day Pasco County officials condemned his house. “We built this house 40 years ago and now we don’t have anything”
“Another piece fell in like yesterday and you never know if another one’s going to come over here,” homeowner Lorelis Prieto said. “I just kept hearing pieces falling and there was water and I saw a palm tree go down and I’m like immediately I was getting stuff out of my house because I didn’t know how big it was going to grow, if it was going to stop.”
The Land O' Lakes sinkhole swallowing two homes, just a few doors down. Now county officials confirm that sinkhole has grown by another 30 feet, making it about 260 feet at the widest point.
"200 feet away there was this huge massive hole that opened up in the ground and like in the middle of the night anything can happen so I don’t think I'd be coming back," Lorelis said.
County officials said some of their equipment may have caused the additional collapse but they don't think this is an active sinkhole.
“If you look at the 30 and 40 year pictures here, apparently where some of those homes are located was in the middle of a lake. So it may be mother nature taking back, and this lake trying to become a lake again,” said Pasco County spokesperson Doug Tobin.
Over the weekend, dozens of dump trucks bring lime stone and boulders to steady the sinkhole. Crews are even planning to create a boat ramp so a small barge can work from the inside. Right now, this site is a spectacle.
“Shows you there’s not much to do in Land O' Lakes on a Saturday night,” one neighbor said. “Just hope that they can get it fixed and people can get back home and their homes are safe."
Crews have been cleaning debris since the weekend. Officials said the clean up phase will take about 12 days and cost about $1 million.