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Summer Bay, Fla., resort open after sinkhole engulfs building

Aug. 13, 2013 at 3:41 PM   |   Comments

CLERMONT, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Florida's Summer Bay resort is "open for business" Tuesday, one day after a 100-foot-wide sinkhole engulfed a residential building, resort officials said.

"We are open for business and taking care of our guests," Summer Bay President Paul Caldwell said.

He said there was "no reason to believe" the sinkhole will expand.

One building with 24 units was destroyed, and guests had just minutes to evacuate after the sinkhole began opening late Sunday night. Two adjacent buildings were closed for inspections of structural integrity, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Tuesday.

There were no injuries, but some personal belongings were lost.

Lake County, Fla., which includes Summer Bay, is among the most susceptible areas to sinkholes in the state, because underlying limestone formations act as caverns in which ground water moves, eroding the limestone, said Todd Hammerle, a Florida Department of Transportation district maintenance engineer.

The water "slowly chips away at the edges. It gets bigger and bigger and what's on top, it can't just hold up anymore," he said.

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