OCALA, Fla. — The Ocala Fire Department responded to a sinkhole that swallowed a car in a shopping center parking lot after heavy rain, firefighters said.
The sinkhole opened up after 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Gaitway Plaza on Southwest College Road near the Checkers drive-thru.
The sinkhole is about 20 feet by 20 feet and just as deep, firefighters said.
Seth Wing saw the driver of the car get out of her vehicle once the sinkhole opened.
"She just walked out of the car; she was shaking," he said.
The Gaitway Plaza also was evacuated due to a gas leak.
"We could smell this intense smell of gas, you know natural gas coming out of the ground and they kind of evacuated the whole sidewalk," said Ronny Pagano, who was at the shopping center at the time.
Firefighters were able to secure the gas line. No injuries have been reported.
Ocala firefighters also responded to several flooded vehicles in the parking lot of the Shady Oaks Shopping Center across the street.
State Road 200 was briefly closed due to flash flooding.