Residents voice safety concerns about growing hole impacting neighborhood

DeLAND, Fla. — A hole that formed behind people’s homes in DeLand that’s been a concern since 2020 has gotten deeper and wider in recent months.


The hole is in the Saddlebrook Neighborhood on Preakness Circle not far from Blue Lake Avenue.

The hole is close to impacting homes, and trees are even falling in the hole. Neighbors said when it rains, things are even worse.

Over time, the concrete drainage pipe crumbled, washing out the land around it.

READ: For some Orlo Vista residents, the nightmare of Hurricane Ian remains

The hole is nearly 40 feet deep an just a few feet and now just a few feet away from Tabitha Ruge’s fence line.

She calls the edge of her property a cliff that leads to a crater.

“This is a nightmare, especially being a mom of kids,” Ruge said. “When it first happened, we put up our own Halloween caution tape with PVC pipe and it fell in.”

READ: Remains of 19th-century underwater hospital, graveyard found near Dry Tortugas

A Saddlebrook HOA spokesperson said the developer was aware of the issue before building and said the community sued the development company in 2020 when the hole started forming.

The lawsuit has since been settled, but it’s unclear who will ultimately be responsible for repairs.

The hole has now also started to push up to Joyce Grainey’s property, taking trees down with it.

READ: 2 endangered great hammerhead sharks on display at SeaWorld Orlando

“It’s bigger than I realized when I see it from the other side,” she said.

With several families in the area, Grainey said she often worries about someone falling in.

“A child playing back there or someone’s dog getting caught back in there, it would be a real problem to try and get them back out,” she said.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.