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

Central Florida community rallied around Mae Rose Owens

By Clay LePard - Reporter

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.

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