POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A massive sinkhole opened up in a south Lakeland neighborhood on Thursday.
Officials said a well being drilled on a site off of Scott Lake Road caused the sinkhole to develop near an underground cavern.
“We assume that those two are somehow connected and basically created the void that then allowed the material above it to basically start breaking through that confining layer. That’s what’s occurring that’s typically what a sinkhole is,” said Jay Jarvis, Storms & Drainage director.
As of Friday, an engineer monitoring the sinkhole said it was approximately 25 feet deep and 80 feet wide.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District sent a letter to the permittee ordering a remediation plan be submitted within 30 days.
“Sinkholes in a stormwater retention area facilitate the direct discharge of untreated stormwater runoff to the drinking water aquifer,” the letter stated.
The sinkhole is roughly 40 feet from Jack Hall Jr.’s home.
“It’s a little spooky to be honest with you because this Scott Lake area is a sinkhole area of Lakeland and I’m concerned,” Hall said.
Officials said the sinkhole is not currently affecting the nearby Scott Lake Road, but the street was shut down out of an abundance of caution. Scott Lake Road is closed south of Fitzgerald Road until further notice.
In a news conference Friday afternoon, Sheriff Grady Judd urged residents to avoid the area and to stay away from the sinkhole while crews stabilize it. Polk County Fire Rescue went door-to-door notifying nearby residents of the situation.