Heavy rain causes road to buckle in Mount Dora

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MOUNT DORA, Fla. - Heavy rains are being blamed for causing a road to buckle in Mount Dora Tuesday afternoon.

Donnelly Street collapsed, nearly swallowing up a car in its path. The incident happened near Third Avenue.

The roadway has since been closed.

Nearby, a piece of construction equipment is stuck in a second hole that opened up.

Channel 9's Berndt Petersen learned a multimillion-dollar project called Street Scape is underway in the area, and the collapsed road could cause problems for the project.

Business owners said heavy rain and a flash flood raced through the area about 4 p.m.

They said all that water came down the hillside and washed out part of the road, causing it to collapse.

Mount Dora business owner Linda Arnold is talking about the flash flood that ripped through the streets of downtown and left behind a massive hole in just minutes.

"We lived through the hurricanes and everything, we never saw anything like this," Arnold said.

The hole swallowed a handful of cars and even construction equipment.

Tuesday night, it is still a mess.

"I was just looking at them. They were going like this, you know. Then, then they're going down and I'm thinking, "Oh my gosh!" Arnold said.

Brittany Heitling said she and her mother parked their Red Mazda on the road, went inside a coffee shop and came out to a horrific sight.

"I cried, I was hysterical. And it's actually my mom's car and she was the one saying to be calm," Heitling said.

Officials said much of the street had already been dug up as part of the city's multimillion-dollar Street Scape project, and that's how parts of it were able to simply wash away.

"When that sudden, empty, massive rain came down a couple of hours ago, it just flooded out this entire street," said Kelda Senior, spokesperson for the city of Mount Dora.

One by one, crews were slowly able to dig out the cars. Officials said thankfully no one was hurt.

"It was definitely a mother/daughter outing that turned a lot more exciting than we thought it would be," Heitling said.

One business owner blames the work that had been done so far for the collapse.

The city isn't sure what went wrong, but said its contractor and Public Works Department will be at the scene through the night.

Besides getting the cars and crane out of the holes, the water is out at several businesses. There might be a break in a line, officials said.

In Volusia County, some areas got several inches of rain on Tuesday, and it seems Daytona Beach and Holly Hill were among the hardest-hit areas.

The rain came down quickly, hammering the area. On Atlantic Avenue, water built up quickly and caused an SUV to hydroplane and crash into another car, fire crews said.

Firefighters said the SUV tried to pass a bus, but it hydroplaned and ended up striking another car.

No one was seriously injured.

The streets also quickly filled up with water in Holly Hill. There, police closed off a lane of Ridgewood Avenue for several blocks as the road flooded.