WWII bomb cleanup underway near Pinecastle Jeep Range



ORLANDO, Fla. - A massive cleanup of old World War II bombs is underway again in the Pinecastle area.

It's happening about five years after the neighborhood got turned upside down by the first cleanup.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is ripping up the track at Odyssey Middle School.

A study determined the Department Of Defense buried weapons in the area underneath the middle school track.

It is keeping people off the property as a safety precaution.
Backhoes were tearing out chunks of asphalt at Odyssey Middle School just weeks before kids are set to start running on the track again.

Crews scoured the ground with metal detectors.

They were looking for old World War II bombs buried after training exercises.

It happened long before anyone envisioned a school and houses being built over the area.

Thursday's digging comes five years after explosives were first discovered in the area.

That discovery prompted an immediate critical cleanup that uncovered 260 bombs.

The Corps is digging deeper to get the remaining bombs.

The first cleanup sent home values plummeting and prompted a class action lawsuit against the builder who sold the homes.

Joseph Alfonso said Thursday that he received $10,000 of the $1.2 million settlement.

"The value dropped $50-$60,000, so $10,000 doesn't make up for it," Alfonso said.

The Army determined the Tivoli Gardens and Lee Vista Square communities needed more cleanup.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still needs permission to clean up 56 of the homes in the two communities.

If they don't get permission soon the area may never get cleaned up.

"If I wanted to sell it, I'd probably have difficulty getting what I wanted for it. As for me, got to live with it," Alfonso said.