Sinkhole measuring 60 feet across opens up in Keystone Heights

The sinkhole is near Auburn Avenue between Princeton & Notre Dame streets

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. - A sinkhole measuring 60 feet in diameter opened up overnight near a stretch of Auburn Avenue between Princeton and Notre Dame streets in Keystone Heights, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said Wednesday that they are closely monitoring the sinkhole, which is within feet of a home. 

Drivers will be unable to turn onto Princeton Street from Auburn Avenue until further notice. Sky 4 aerial video showed where authorities had taped off the surrounding areas. The sinkhole is located on private property, but firefighters are trying to keep people away because they fear it could be growing.

Neighbors said it all began when the owners of a home had a crew come out to install new underground pumps for a well in the front yard. By Tuesday, a well-drilling truck that was left parked in the yard started sinking into the ground. By Wednesday morning, the yard had a large hole that appeared to keep growing. 

“We didn’t notice it until about 10:30 last night because our pump went out," Tabby  Castro, who lives across the street, said Wednesday. "We have no water due to the sinkhole.”

Between late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, according to neighbors, the diameter of the sinkhole grew to 60 feet.

“It’s very scary. We live here and we could lose our house at any moment if it keeps sinking. They think it could go another 100 feet," Castro said. "I’m scared we’re going to lose our house. This is all my uncle and I have right now. We just moved up here and this is all we have. This is it."

WATCH: Neighbors on edge as firefighters monitor sinkhole in Keystone Heights

Castro's mother, Hilda Smith, said the owners of the property were forced to vacate their home after the hole got bigger. 

"They’re going through a lot because they have a 3-year-old grandson they’re taking (care) of and it’s hard having to take off from work. This happened so sudden, trying to fill the pump and this that happened," Smith said. “Very concerned, because they have nowhere else to live if that happens." 

Crews will not be able to fix the issue until it’s confirmed that the hole is no longer getting bigger. That’s one of the reasons why firefighters are constantly checking it.

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