80-ft sinkhole forces Tarpon Springs evacuations

Posted at 9:52 AM, Mar 30, 2016

A 80-foot wide sinkhole forced the evacuation Wednesday of several homes in a Tarpon Springs neighborhood.

Residents in the Tarpon Shores Mobile Home Park at 89 Rachel Drive are being told to seek shelter at a nearby community center, according to authorities. About seven homes have been evacuated.

The local emergency management agencies and Red Cross are helping the displaced residents until they can return home.

The sinkhole engulfed a fence, utility pole and portion of a nearby road Wednesday as it grew. It is also estimated to be roughly 35 feet deep.

MAP | Where have sinkholes opened in Florida?

City contractors were repairing a previous road collapse when the hole opened Wednesday morning. The hole affected a 30-inch sewer line, a 6-inch sewer line and 4-inch water line. Water has been turned off at the Olympic Plaza near Mango Street and U.S. 19.

Pinellas County crews expect to make a temporary fix to the sewer line Saturday. The sinkhole will have to be stabilized before a permanent fix can be made.

PHOTOS | Check out more photos from the scene

Duke Energy has responded to the scene because the hole is impacting at least two power poles.

Crews told Action News reporter Erik Waxler that water was shooting into the air when the hole was first discovered on Wednesday morning.
Refresh and follow up on twitter @abcactionnews for updates. This story has been updated to correct the changes in the size of the sinkhole.