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Winter Park Florida Sinkhole (1981 / 2008)

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Uploaded on Sep 16, 2008

Winter Park, Florida is a city just East of Orlando. Back in 1981, it gained national attention when a huge sinkhole formed within the city limits. A home and several expensive automobiles were swallowed up as the hole filled with water. During a period of record-low water levels in Florida's limestone aquifer, a massive sinkhole opened up near the corner of Denning Drive and Fairbanks Avenue. In a single day the hole widened to 320 feet (98 m) and to a depth of 90 feet (27 m), destroying an import car dealership, a public pool, and large portions of Denning Drive. In addition, the sinkhole "ate" an entire two-story home. The deepest part of the limestone cavern must have been directly under the house as not even the peak of the roof of the house could be seen after the sinkhole stabilized. Fortunately, no one was in the house at the time the cavern roof collapsed. City engineers managed to stabilize the sinkhole, which drew national attention and became a popular tourist attraction during the summer of 1981. A carnival-like atmosphere arose around the area, with vendors selling food, balloons, and t-shirts to visitors. Eventually the novelty wore off as the city repaired the damage and turned the sinkhole into a man-made lake. Winter Park sinkhole's notoriety is still unmatched.
I recently found a Betamax tape containing footage of the sinkhole as it formed in 1981. With so many years that have passed since the event, I decided to go back today and see what the famous Winter Park Sinkhole looks like.
Taped: May 1, 1981 / Sept 15, 2008

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