Sinkhole swallows swimming pool

Dylan Stableford
The Lookout

A sinkhole formed in Winter Park, Fla., on Monday, swallowing half a swimming pool and forcing the evacuation of several residents, authorities there say.

The sinkhole—about 50 feet wide and 30 to 40 feet deep—was reported by a homeowner, Suzanne Blumenauer, at about 8:30 p.m., according to the Orange County Fire Rescue Department.

"They came back from dinner and half the backyard was gone," Orange County Fire Chief Billy Richardson told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel.

Blumenauer told Richardson that she had a pool party on Sunday "and everything was fine."

It's unclear what caused this particular sinkhole. An Orange County geologist was expected to examine the formation early Tuesday, Richardson said.

Sinkholes are common in central Florida, particularly in Winter Park, where, in 1981, a massive sinkhole 350 feet wide and 75 feet deep swallowed a three-bedroom house, "part of the city’s swimming pool and at least five Porsches from a German car business," Red Huber, a Sentinel photographer, recalled on the 30th anniversary of the famous crater. "Several of the cars later were rescued with a crane, but two are still down there somewhere."

In March, a sinkhole in Tampa swallowed a bedroom and a sleeping man whose body was never recovered.