• Crews fill second sinkhole in The Villages


    SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 reported on a large sinkhole that opened over the weekend in The Villages forcing people from their homes.

    On Thursday a family told Channel 9 that another sinkhole has opened and this one is next to their home.

    "I came out and took a look and sure enough there was a huge hole," homeowner Melissa Hartline said.

    Hartline and her husband Gene were shocked when they discovered a hole next to their home on Mallory Hill in The Villages.

    "The hole was about 5 feet wide and 10 feet long," said Hartline.

    They called The Villages officials and their insurance carrier, who sent an engineer to inspect it.

    "He checked everything and said he felt that we needed to vacate the home. He gave us about a half-hour to vacate," she said.

    The home was deemed unsafe, and crews then returned to try and fix the sinkhole.

    "They started filling it back in before they put the pins in. As they put the pins in it started going back down again," she said.

    Later, crews refilled it, and so far, it seems stable. 

    Crews checked inside and outside making sure that no other areas were affected.

    The sinkhole also opened in the couple's 79-year-old neighbor's yard. She was allowed to stay in her home, but she said the experience has been frightening.

    "Yea it is scary. I just hope it doesn't happen to anyone else," Hartline said.

    The couple said they have insurance and will have to pay a $500 deductible for their repair work.

    WFTV found out a new law that was meant to stop insurance abuse, has made it more difficult for Florida residents to get sinkhole insurance.

    It's also expensive and not everyone can qualify for it.

    Experts said everyone who has homeowner's insurance has the catastrophic ground cover collapse option, and it will take care of damages to homes caused by sinkholes.

    If there is a sinkhole that doesn't directly affect the home however, the homeowner will have to take care of that on their own.

    The Harlines' neighbor has sinkhole insurance and since her home wasn't damaged, she said she will have to pay to fill in the hole that opened on her property.

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    Crews fill second sinkhole in The Villages