Florida Sinkhole Swallows Street in Spring Hill, Home Threatened

By Sean Breslin
Published: July 21, 2014

Homes were evacuated and parts of a street were sucked into the ground when a sinkhole developed Saturday in Hernando County, Florida.

Neighbors say they witnessed the event as it gobbled up asphalt, dirt and grass, and some remarked to 10 News that the sinkhole was silent, giving no warning it was about to do damage to a Spring Hill neighborhood.

"Out of nowhere the earth just went straight up in the air and exploded up in the air," said Margaret Helmick, a resident in the neighborhood, in an ABC News report.

(WATCH: Teacher Killed in Tragic Accident)

Four homes were evacuated by authorities, according to ABC News, but residents in three of those homes were allowed to return later.

The sinkhole is about 40 feet long, 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep, says USA Today.

"It's devastating; you don't expect it," Linda Fisher, who was out of town when the sinkhole ate her front yard and driveway, said in the USA Today report.

Florida is a hotbed of sinkhole activity, but central Florida is especially active. The Orlando Sentinel keeps tabs on hundreds of sinkholes using an interactive map that reflects one trend – the ground moves frequently under central Florida.

This is because of the state's terrain, according to The state sits on several thousand feet of limestone, the report says, and when naturally acidic groundwater breaks down parts of the limestone, a sinkhole can form.

MORE: Sinkhole at a Florida Resort

People stand near a partially collapsed building over a sinkhole at Summer Bay Resort near Disney World on Aug. 12, 2013 in Clermont, Florida. (Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

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