Apopka home spared by Irma swallowed by sinkhole

Sinkhole appears to be growing

APOPKA, Fla. – An Apopka home was evacuated Tuesday morning after a 25-foot-wide sinkhole opened up, swallowing at least half of the house, Orange County Fire Rescue officials said.

Firefighters responded at 8:22 a.m. to a call about the sinkhole after family members starting feeling the ground shake Monday night.

Ellen Miller, her husband, Garry Miller, and their two dogs were able to safely leave their home.

"I wasn't sure what all the sounds were until I got up and saw the big, huge cracks in the walls, and they were just enormous," Ellen Miller said. "It's the only home I've ever had." 

[PICS: Sinkhole eats home]

Miller, who moved into the home in 1969, said her kitchen, den and bathroom are destroyed. 

Officials said the sinkhole on West Kelly Park Road was 15 feet deep and growing.

Duke Energy and building department officials were also called to the scene.

"Kind of numb and trying to figure out if its going to stop growing," said Elene Hale, Miller's granddaughter. "Is my mom's house next? At this point, it's just wait and see." 

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Since the evacuation, the family has collected what they could from the home, filled with decades of memories.

"It's probably generations of stuff," said Miller's daughter, Connie Hale. "It's my grandfather's flag from his casket, my dad's father's Bible, who's been gone since I was an infant. It's just stuff that's not replaceable." 

Miller's home was spared during Hurricane Irma; she only lost power for about a day. She said she still hadn't gotten her cable or internet back yet but knows she has a completely new set of problems now. ​

"I don't have any idea what's next," Miller said. "I really don't. There's no rebuilding it. It's gone. " 

The location of a sinkhole in Apopka on Sept. 19.
A 25-foot sinkhole opened up in Apopka on Tuesday.

This is a developing story. Check back on ClickOrlando.com and watch New 6 for updates.

About the Authors:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.