A massive sinkhole threatens two homes in Sumter County. Peter Carpenter, a spokesperson with the Villages Fire Department said the sinkhole on Chalmer Terrace near St. Charles Place opened up a few weeks ago near the Villages.   “It started as just a small hole in one yard, so the homeowners called out someone to fix it,” Carpenter said.  However, since that time, the hole has expanded more and more and now it’s at a point where authorities are worried about both homes.  “It’s about 25-30 feet across at the surface and we’re estimating between 40 and 60 feet deep,” said geologist Drew Glasbrenner. And just Saturday night alone, the sinkhole was spreading across the yard towards the roadway.  A few months ago, the homeowner called Bracken Engineers out to investigate sinkhole activity.

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Glasbrenner and his team filled the small hole, then shored up the property using steel underpinnings, connecting the home’s foundation to the limestone underneath. Then suddenly, the rest of the earth dropped away overnight.  Heavy rains turned that once small hole into a huge cavity.  Now, those rods are all that is stopping the sinkhole from swallowing the house.“The house isn’t going to go anywhere, as long as the hole doesn’t move much past where it is right now.”One of the homes doesn’t have those underpinnings in place, so Glasbrenner is worried that the hole could give way. But, crews are dumping truckloads of filler into the hole filling it with a sand and cement mixture in hopes that it will stop the growth of the hole. “You can never know for sure but the repair should slow it down and eventually stop it from expanding.” Neither one of the families are home right now, so no one is in danger and none of the other residents have had to evacuate the neighborhood.  myfox tampa bay