Possible sinkhole continues to grow in Winter Haven parking lot

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WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - A possible sinkhole opened up in the parking lot of a Publix grocery store in Winter Haven Thursday morning.

"It was just a very small depression. We initially thought it was just a water leak," said property manager Brian Swain.

Swain brought in a geologist to survey the hole, which initially appeared to be about 30 feet wide and 5 feet deep.

Shoppers continued to visit stores in the shopping center on Cypress Gardens Boulevard, across the street from Legoland, but then the hole began to get larger.

A few hours later, the hole was more than twice its original size.

"I'd say it's probably 70feet across now," Swain said Thursday afternoon.

The city ordered three businesses in the center evacuated after the geologist said the hole could continue to grow.

So far, there has been no structural damage to the building, which houses Publix, Kmart and a host of smaller businesses.

"This is crazy. I'm just glad I wasn't parked there when it went down," said shopper Stephanie Mickler.

No injuries have been reported.