8 homes evacuated after 10 possible sinkholes open in Ocala

OCALA, Fla. — The city of Ocala is trying to determine how to fill several potential sinkholes that formed Wednesday in a subdivision.

Eight Ocala homes were evacuated Wednesday afternoon after 10 possible sinkholes opened near a retention pond in the Wynchase at Fore Ranch neighborhood.

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The Ocala Police Department said the holes were reported shortly after 3:15 p.m.

"Unfortunately, tonight, there's not much that can be done other than to secure the area and make sure no one is harmed," police spokeswoman Meghan Shay said.

Shay said the area is prone to sinkholes.

Firefighters said Wednesday that the holes might have been caused by a broken irrigation line, but officials said they no longer believe that to be the case.

"We posted that the building was unsafe, and we met with the HOA manager," city engineer Sean Lanier said. "These appear not to be related, and they may have broken the water line."

WATCH: Video of Ocala sinkholes caving in

Engineers surveyed the area with ground-penetrating radar Thursday to determine if the structures' integrity is threatened by the holes.

"Those guys are pretty brave to be standing there," resident Mike Altman said. "You don't know what's going to happen."

Officials believe several sinkholes have also opened in the pond.

Ocala Fire Rescue and Ocala Police Department have secured the perimeter of an area in Fore Ranch where sinkhole activity has been identified. The cause may be linked to a private irrigation water main break. Units adjacent to the area have been evacuated as a safety precaution. The City Engineer and Emergency Management are investigating.

Posted by Ocala Fire Rescue on Wednesday, April 25, 2018