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News Story
Updated: 05/31/2014 08:05:02AM

Sinkhole opens in shopping center lot

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PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Staff from FDOT and the City of Winter Haven monitored the sinkhole, to see if it would grow. The sinkhole formed Thursday morning and grew throughout the day at Winter Haven Square parking lot on Cypress Gardens Boulevard.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Workers went around the rim, checking for signs of expansion at the sink hole, while waiting for the geologist from Safe Engineering to come measure dimensions and give the status of what is going on underneath that asphalt.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


The sinkhole is about 50-60 feet away from the businesses that serve the community in Winter Haven Plaza.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


The sinkhole grew from a couple feet wide to about 50 ft. wide before lunchtime. The parking lot was roped off, but business traffic was still moving around the rim of the scene.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


Ripples from the sinkhole extend almost the full depth of the parking lot.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ


The edges of the sinkhole are marked with chalk to keep track of how fast the hole is growing.

PHOTO BY KATHY LEIGH BERKOWITZ
A sinkhole at Winter Haven Square formed Thursday morning and grew across the parking lot there. No one was injured from it, though at least three businesses closed because the growing hole is near their stores.

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A 55-foot sinkhole opened up in the Winter Haven Square parking lot.

It hasn’t closed any streets in the area around Cypress Gardens Boulevard but what started as a 2-foot hole this morning has grown a bit. About 300 feet of parking is roped off now.

Swain Realty Co. owner Brian Swain said tenants noticed the sinkhole when they showed up for work Thursday morning.

It extends toward the parking lot.

No one has been injured but people are concerned. Amy Huang, the owner of China Garden in the shopping center said she is worried the sinkhole will move toward their restaurant.

The Florida Highway Patrol is at the scene as is city of Winter Haven officials and the Winter Haven Police Department. DOT officials are marking the edges of sinkhole with green paint to track if it is growing, it said. Also on the scene are representatives of Rainbow International Restoration which is on hand if businesses are affected, said Alex Santiago, a business development associate. Later today a geologist is scheduled to come to assess the situation.


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