• Huge sinkhole opens up in Windermere neighborhood


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A huge sinkhole has opened up in one Windermere neighborhood and has residents on alert.

    Officials said the hole is over 50 feet wide and 10 feet deep, but it isn't threatening any homes on Wax Berry Court.

    An engineer is at the scene, trying to determine if the hole is getting bigger.

    "Big [and] deep. The walls of the septic tank are hanging right there," said homeowner Paul Padfield.

    Padfield didn't notice anything strange when he took his 8-year-old son Alex to school Monday morning, but he said they came home to the sinkhole.

    Padfield said the view from his home has changed dramatically.

    "There are dents all over the place. You've got little sinkholes all over," Padfield said.

    Engineers said they spent Monday afternoon measuring the sinkhole and looking for shifts in the ground.

    They told Padfield the hole should grow near the street, but that his home should be fine.

    "The house is structurally sound and the house is not threatened at this point," Padfield said. "It's gotten about twice as big, but it seems to be stabilized. I don't think the sidewalk is going to survive this."

    One thing Padfield said he was concerned with were changes in insurance that went into place a year ago, which only cover sinkhole damage if it directly impacts the home. He said he's not sure whether it will cover his septic tank, which needs to be replaced.

    In cases where the home isn't damaged, the homeowner is also responsible for the cost of filling the hole.

    This sinkhole is 7 miles away from another one that appeared across Lake Butler in May.

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    Huge sinkhole opens up in Windermere neighborhood