'I worry about it,' Ocala residents say as they report more sinkholes forming

City confirms 1 new sinkhole, blocks off road, drains pond

OCALA, Fla. – At least eight sinkholes formed last week in Ocala, prompting the evacuation of one of the buildings at Wynchase Townhomes at Fore Ranch.

On Monday, residents at the complex told News 6 that even more sinkholes have formed over the weekend.

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Members of the Ceruto family said they've lived in the community for the past decade, and they've experienced sinkholes before, but none as close to their home as the ones that have recently formed. 

"Past experience was further away, so it didn't really concern me too much, but now that it's getting a little bit closer and now (that) it's near our dumpster, it's a little bit scary," Lisa Ceruto said.

Signs are posted on one of the buildings, warning people that the structure is not safe to enter. Several sinkholes have formed just feet away from that building.

"We're just hoping that it's not going to get, you know, any worse -- or, you know, (we hope we don't) have to evacuate and leave our house, because we've been here 10 years," Ceruto said.

The city of Ocala said Monday that at least one new sinkhole formed within the past couple of days, and it has resulted in more of the roadway being blocked off.

A large pond also has been drained as a result of the latest sinkhole.

"All of the wildlife -- it's just -- I see turtles running across the street and getting ran over," resident Kyle Rodgers said. "It's just a shame."

The city said that engineers are continuing to investigate a cause for the sinkholes, before they put in place a plan to make the repairs.

​"I worry about it, but, you know, whatever is going to happen is going to happen," Joseph Ceruto said. "You know ... you don't like seeing it happen, but you can't stop it."

In 2012, a 100-foot-wide sinkhole formed inside the community. At that time, residents had to pay a combined $600,000 for the repairs. The cost of repairing the most recent sinkholes is unknown.

City officials said that the American Red Cross is assisting the eight families forced to evacuate from their homes last week.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.