Flashback: Massive Winter Park sinkhole swallows home, pool, more

Central Florida community rallied around Mae Rose Owens

A sinkhole caused major havoc in Winter Park 38 years ago.

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Nearly 40 years ago Wednesday it was one of the biggest stories of the year: the Winter Park sinkhole. 

It was 38 years ago when the acre-wide hole affected many near West Comstock and Fairbanks Avenue.

The massive sinkhole swallowed a home, part of a Porsche dealership, parts of several businesses and a community swimming pool.

In 1981, the damage totaled $4 million.

The sinkhole is now known as "Lake Rose," named after Mae Rose Owens, whose home was swallowed by the lake.

A massive sinkhole opens up in Winter Park in 1981.

The community rallied behind Owens after the ordeal, raising $50,000 to buy her a plot of land so she could rebuild her home. 

In a 2011 report, former News 6 meteorologist Elizabeth Hart shared how people were still talking about the mess. You can watch the video at the top of this story.

About the Author:

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.