OCALA, Fla. (WFLA) — A massive hole that opened up in a Florida vitamin store’s parking lot has forced the store to close.
The 20-foot-deep sinkhole stopped shoppers from picking up their vitamins.
“That is big,” customer Virginia Hargarten told WESH. “I feel sorry for the shop owners too, they have to be closed.”
Darren Park with the Ocala Public Works Department told the news station that the pavement collapsed due to a rainstorm.
A photo from WESH shows a car in the hole but officials did not say if anyone was hurt.
“What it looks like is a drainage pipe failed over time, washed the underlying soil away … heavy rains from Friday night put a lot of weight in the pipe which caused the pipe to collapse,” Park said.
A few years ago, WESH reported that a hole roughly the same size opened up in the Checkers parking lot next door. Park said the problem is old pipes.
“Over time, things will wear and fail. They have a service life. Some have more than others. My guess is they’ll be looking to make some changes over the next few years,” he said.
Park predicts the city will continue to see sinholes as rain picks up following a long dry period in Florida.
“It’s been a very dry year so far. You get those heavy rains; sinkholes are common, particularly in retention areas. We’ve been dealing with this all week long,” he said.
WESH said the construction to fix the hole is expected to finish in mid-June. The Vitamin Shoppe will be closed for several weeks.