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Sinkhole appears in Winter Haven plaza

The bowl-like depression in Winter Haven Square’s parking lot grew to about 70 feet around and 15 feet deep.

Calvin Knight/The Ledger

The bowl-like depression in Winter Haven Square’s parking lot grew to about 70 feet around and 15 feet deep.

A sinkhole has developed in a Winter Haven shopping plaza parking lot across from the entrance to Legoland and continues to spread.

The hole is approximately 70 feet around and 15 feet deep, according to Brian Swain, of Swain Realty of Winter Haven, which manages the property, known as Winter Haven Square.

The shopping center, at 6031 Cypress Gardens Blvd., houses a Publix and K-Mart as well as a few smaller stores and restaurants

Officials closed three businesses near the hole Thursday afternoon: Rainbow, China Garden and Jade Nail Salon. Swain said the businesses were expected to stay closed through the weekend, but he does not foresee the hole affecting business at K-Mart or Publix.

A geologist from S.A.F.E. Engineering, a company based in South Florida, came to the site and used ground penetrating radar to survey much of the parking lot. He told the management company that there does not appear to be cracking or fracturing in the ground underneath other areas in the parking lot, Swain said.

"Now it's going to be a wait and see. We have to let the ground stabilize before we can react and begin repairs," Swain said.

"This feels like a Steven Spielberg movie, honestly."

Sinkhole appears in Winter Haven plaza 05/29/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 8:10pm]
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