Residents return home after sinkhole opens outside Altamonte Springs condo complex

Crews inspected structural damage, determined area safe

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Residents evacuated after a sinkhole opened outside their condo building last week were allowed to return to their homes Monday.

According to Altamonte Springs police, a structural engineer checked the building at the Royal Arms Condominiums early Monday and determined it's safe for all units to be occupied.

"Every building checked out. There's no structural damage at all," homeowners association President Frank Barber said. "It's a big relief for the people here."

Sixteen units were evacuated Tuesday after the roughly 20-foot-wide hole opened up on the edge of building 536 in the complex.  Help was made available from Red Cross for the residents who were forced to leave their homes.

After confirming the depression was a sinkhole, officials filled the area with dirt to prevent further eroding underneath the building.

Power was shut off to the building and residents weren't allowed to return until the area was deemed safe.

A spokeswoman for the city said last week that ground testing led to the depression, but on Monday clarified that any cause determination would be made by professional engineers conducting the investigation.

Sinkhole alley

Some parts along the I-4 have more reported sinkholes than other areas of Florida, according to data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The I-4 corridor is known as "sinkhole alley," according to University of Florida professor emeritus of geology Dr. Anthony Randozzo.

Florida's geological survey study shows all reported incidents of sinkholes. Take a look at the map below to see the number of sinkholes that have been reported in surrounding Orlando-area counties.

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